How to Identify a House Being Used for Sex Trafficking

Sex trafficking raid in SFICE raid in West Oakland related to sex trafficking involving minors

 

A few years ago when the Super Bowl was in Phoenix I wrote an article about how to recognize a home in your neighborhood that is being used for sex trafficking. With the Super Bowl coming up again in a few weeks I felt it was time to re-post this information.  Human-trafficking happens in all areas, even luxury subdivisions or new apartments. This is not something that happens in the slums or the ghetto, and in many cases this is happening right in front of us. The United States Department of Justice considers Phoenix one of the top human-trafficking areas in the country and most victims are forced into sex trafficking before they are 15 years old.

Although the Super Bowl is not in Phoenix this year, we do have many events around the valley in January through March including Barret Jackson, The Waste Management Open and Spring Training, just to name a few. As our events increase, sadly, so does the demand for this trade.

Whether you are in the Phoenix area or not, here are some signs that should raise suspicion in your neighborhood, especially in the Minneapolis area around the Super Bowl over the next few weeks.

  • Are there bars on the doors and windows or are windows boarded up?
  • Is this appropriate considering the level of crime in the neighborhood?
  • Is there barbed wire present and does it seem out of place?
  • Is there an unusual amount of surveillance equipment on exterior, interior, or both?
  • Does it appear that the level of security is intended to keep people out or, of great concern to police, keep people in? For example, are the locks on the doors and windows to keep people in, instead of out?
  • Is there an abnormal amount of traffic to and from the home (or apartment unit) and at unusual hours of the day?
  • Is the trash can full of fast food packaging or containers, and condom packaging?
  • Do the tenants seem closely supervised (restricted in movement)?
  • Are there people in the house who are always with others who must speak for them, but do not appear to know each other well?
  • Are there younger boys or girls in the home who show signs of malnourishment, abuse or fearfulness?

If you see any of these signs or suspect there is a home in your neighborhood being used for human-trafficking, please immediately call the local authorities or the National Trafficking Resource Center at 1-888-373-7888.

To learn more about how to help protect your child or teen from becoming a target or trafficking victim, please follow this link.

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