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Why Is Human Trafficking Such A Growing Problem?

Written by: Heidi Chance, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 
Executive Contributor Heidi Chance

In 2021, the National Human Trafficking Hotline identified over 10,000 cases involving nearly 17,000 victims.

Young woman holding piece of paper with label I'm not for sale

There are several things I have learned from my many years of investigating the Human Trafficking problem happening in the United States.


1 Pimps recognize that trafficking another person is extremely profitable


“Pimps”, also known as Traffickers, realize that they can make money from victims that they cause to commit sex acts for money on a daily basis. Some Pimps force victims to make money on “dates” where they commit the sex acts with Sex Buyers numerous times a day. These same Pimps also try to recruit and groom additional victims so that they can make double or triple the money they can make.


Some Traffickers control the amount of money to be charged for each type of sex act.


Some Traffickers direct victims to charge certain amounts of money for the amount of time they spend with a Sex Buyer.


“Traffickers use victims to make as much “fast money” as possible!” – Detective Heidi Chance

Typically, Traffickers instruct victims to charge $80-$100 dollars or more for each sex act and encourage, force or threaten victims to perform as many as they can get them to do in a day.


Traffickers are aware that they can force their victims to work 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week. You can imagine how much money they are making…tax free by the way!


Most of my investigations into local domestic Traffickers resulted in finding that they spent money as fast as they made it. They spent it on drugs, jewelry, expensive clothing, hotels, renting expensive vehicles and typically they would hide cash. They do not participate in legitimate income earnings as they do not have a legitimate job.


Victims are rarely found with any money, and more often then not they reported that they were promised money by the Traffickers, but never received any.


2 Pimps realize that law enforcement won’t catch them “with anything” if they control their victims and keep them from saying anything


If you think about it, if a person who is trafficking drugs or stolen property is traveling in a vehicle and gets pulled over by the police, there is a chance that they could be found out or caught with the items during the traffic stop.


But if you are a Pimp who controls your victims and has them in fear of the repercussions of possible physical violence or other threats, then you can cause them to keep silent about their victimization. So much so, that it is very common for victims to be so afraid that not only will they not call the police, but they will also not tell a family member or friend what is really going on with them.


“If you’re a pimp and can control the mouths of your victims and keep them from saying anything, then you will never be caught for trafficking… it’s the unfortunate truth.” – Detective Chance

So many investigations need victim cooperation to move forward through the justice system and Traffickers also realize this fact. They control and threaten victims so much that some never disclose to authorities what happened to them. They live years in fear of retaliation to themselves or to their families. This is what the Traffickers are “counting on”. It is the very tactic used to control victim’s and keep them “working” for their traffickers.


Law enforcement can still investigate these trafficking situations but as time passes, it is harder to find evidence.


The statistics about the number of victims being reported and the vast difference in the actual number of victims out there today, is a result of “We don’t know – what we don’t know”…and we really don’t actually know how many victims of trafficking there are out there.


What we can determine is the number of victims that come forward and disclose their trafficking situation. Whether they call the National Human Trafficking Hotline, or a state hotline number, local police or if they are discovered by law enforcement in other ways such as undercover operations. Those statistics are the only way to accurately put numbers to this crime. I would guess that the known number of victims multiplied several times over, is the actual number of victims really out there.


Again, this is because traffickers are skilled at exploiting as many victims as they can and are avoiding being caught by the police.


You can help actually change the outcome of this problem.

  • You can change and not pick up your phone to record a TikTok or Instagram reel of someone being assaulted by their trafficker and instead report it to the police. By being a good witness.

  • You can learn more about Sex Trafficking so that you can have conversations with others about recognition of it happening and prevention.

  • You can get involved in organizations that are in need of help with victims who escape the life of being trafficked.

  • You can vote for laws that will make this crime punishable with stricter punishments.

  • You can be a good juror.


There are so many things you can do. Start by visiting here to learn about Sex Trafficking by taking “The Power of Awareness” online course.


Let’s all work together to prevent the growth of Human Trafficking!


Follow me on Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!

Heidi Chance Brainz Magazine
 

Heidi Chance, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Heidi Chance, a 25-year veteran of the Phoenix Police Department, dedicated her career to combatting sex trafficking, notably serving 13 years in the H.E.A.T (Human Exploitation and Trafficking) Unit. As an expert in forensic child interviews, abuse identification, online child protection, and undercover operations, she's a sought-after speaker, addressing law enforcement and many conferences. Heidi is featured in the PBS documentary "Sex Trafficking in America" and now uses her platform at Achanceforawareness.com to raise public awareness and provide training and consulting services to law enforcement, contributing to the fight against sex trafficking.

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