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How Do You Know If A Child Is In Danger?

What can we do to protect our children and others in our community from being trafficked and exploited? In the past, we already talked about the importance of talking to our children regarding this subject, the necessity of knowing where our children are at all times, and the critical knowledge of what they are doing online, since predators and traffickers are really good at deceiving and gaining our kids’ trust online first, before meeting in person. Today I want to talk about how to know if a child is in danger. The “Not a #Number” Prevention Curriculum gives us some insights on how to recognize the red flags. It really takes our awareness to look out for these vulnerable children and keep them protected from child trafficking and exploitation. Our responsibility in this fight is to be informed and protect the children in our homes and our communities.


• Unstable or inconsistent family conditions (i.e., parental, the unexpected presence of an older boyfriend/girlfriend)

• The sudden addition of a lot of new stuff or the appearance that a lot of money has been spent on them (e.g., new clothes, new hair styles, manicures/pedicures)

• Being secretive about who they are talking to or meeting

• Becoming more and more isolated from their regular friends (the predator often does this to have as much control as possible over the child)

• Unexplained changes in behavior, temperament, or personality (e.g., chaotic, aggressive, sexual, mood swings)


• History of sexual abuse, neglect or domestic violence

• Family background in commercial sex

• Relocated by social or natural disaster

• Is part of an undocumented, homeless, refugee, or excluded group

• Poverty or family economic pressure

• Unstable or inconsistent family conditions (i.e., parental absence or neglect, substance abuse, physical/sexual/emotional abuse, multiple foster homes)

• Running away or absence

• Low self-esteem or self-worth

• Experimenting with risky sexual behaviors or drugs


• Strip clubs, exotic dancing, pornography

• Begging

• Online ads, chat services and porn sites

• Escort or dating services

• Domestic labor (housecleaning, childcare, elderly care)

• Restaurants or bars

• The streets

• Factories, sweatshops, or agricultural work

• Businesses such as hotel/motels, massage parlors, nail salons


• Is under 18 years old and performs commercial sex acts

• Is excessively monitored or controlled by parents, a supposed guardian or older partner or “sponsor” who claims to provide for their education and needs, or who insists on speaking for them or being present always

• Detached or (suddenly) isolated from majority of family members and friends

• Is unable to give answers about their schedules or living and work locations and conditions; appears to possibly work and live in the same building or location

• Has numerous contradictions in his/her story; inconsistent personal information (age, place of birth, family life)

• Has excessive security measures at his/her home or work (i.e., security cameras, boarded or covered windows); constant traffic of men at his/her home or work location

• Noticeable change in dress, jewelry, hair or nails without explainable source of income

• Shows signs of physical or sexual abuse (bruises, cuts, burns, submissiveness, jumpy, malnourishment); appears fearful, anxious, depressed, overly submissive, and avoids eye contact

• Suffers from substance abuse problems (alcohol and/or drugs), an array of other psychological disorders, sexually transmitted diseases, or chronic illnesses

• Carries multiple hotel key cards, lots of money, sharp objects (weapons)

• Sudden presence of an older boyfriend

• Tattoo with a name that is not their own; or that he/she is unwilling to explain

If you are reading this it means that somehow this subject touched your heart. I invite you to be part of this movement. We are called to prevent, identify, respond and support victims of Human Trafficking. Together, this can be the generation that says “ENOUGH”.


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