Need help? Call our 24-hour hotline at 800-247-7273. If you are in immediate danger call 911.
Human Trafficking / Sexual Exploitation
What is Human Trafficking?
Human trafficking is the recruitment, harboring, transportation, or obtaining of a person for labor or sex services through the use of:
Force – physical abuse (beating, slapping, burning), sexual assault, confinement
Fraud – false promises, withholding wages, lying about work conditions, promises of a better life, preying on desperation and poverty
Coercion – threats of serious physical harm to victim or their loved ones, intimidation, emotional abuse, creating dependency, blackmail with pornographic images, threat of legal repercussions
Examples of human trafficking can include:
Prostitution on the streets or in a residence, club, hotel, spa or massage parlor
Online commercial sexual exploitation
Exotic dancing or stripping
Agricultural, factory or meatpacking work; construction; domestic labor
Illegal drug trade
Door-to-door sales, street peddling or begging
Many people confuse human trafficking with smuggling. In human trafficking, no transportation or border crossing is required. People can be trafficked by people they know or even family members right in their own homes.
What is Commercial Sexual Exploitation?
Commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) is a global problem that could be happening right in your neighborhood. The commercial sex industry victimizes boys, girls and transgendered youth. CSEC occurs when individuals buy, trade or sell sexual acts with a child. A commercial sexual act occurs when anything of value is given to or received in exchange for a sexual act.
Examples of CSEC can include:
Images of child sexual abuse
Intra-familial exploitation of children and youth
Exotic dance or performance
Domestic minor sex trafficking
A homeless youth receives shelter from an adult “friend,” who asks her to sleep with a few of his buddies, to help pay the rent
A teen in foster care runs away, is picked up by two men in a car on the highway, and is coerced into prostitution
A mother “rents” her children to a pedophile, to support her drug addiction
The commercial sexual exploitation of children is a global problem and one that impacts children in THIS community.
Detecting Child Trafficking
While it’s important for all children to learn at an appropriate age, some children are at higher risk for child trafficking. What does child trafficking look like? There are many myths surrounding trafficking. If you are a professional who works with youth, or a parent, it’s important to know what you should be looking for in order to seek assistance.
We all have vulnerabilities, and vulnerabilities are characteristics that make it easier for someone to be taken advantage of, manipulated or controlled. These vulnerabilities don't indicate that an individual is being at trafficked, but it just puts them at higher risk of being trafficked.
Low socioeconomic status
History of abuse and/or neglect
Exposure to violence
History of alcohol or substance abuse
Mental health diagnosis
Increased experimentation with sexual behavior/risky behavior
Displaced from home
Low self-esteem or self-worth
Red Flags of a Trafficker
These warning signs indicate that something may not be right. One of these alone doesn’t necessarily indicate that the person is a trafficker, but it is something to pay attention to.
an older individual hangs out with younger people and encourages them to do potentially dangerous things
providing gifts, "dates", compliments, and false promises - something that seems too good to be true (this is also known as grooming)
offering a "free" place to stay, especially to runaway and homeless youth
individuals always accompanying others and they do most of the talking
material goods beyond the means of their job
frequently transporting others, especially at night to and from hotels/motels
someone you meet online who tells you little about themselves, or what they tell you doesn't make sense, and/or they want to know a lot about you
SHFL’s Anti-Trafficking Program partners with the Yates County Youth Bureau to promote awareness & identification of youth trafficking and provides comprehensive, victim-centered services to all potential victims of commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking.
SHFL offers case management coordination and advocacy to potential commercially sexually exploited victims. SHFL advocates can help victims access emergency shelter, medical care, mental health counseling, and financial assistance as well as address other safety needs. We provide accompaniment to court, medical appointments and other essential appointments. Advocates provide assistance in applying for Office of Victim Services benefits. For more information regarding our advocacy services, click here.
Professional education is a key element in the fight against human trafficking and exploitation of children. Deficits in awareness and understanding among professionals who work with children contribute to low identification of those who are at high risk, as well as those who are actively being trafficked and exploited in the commercial sex industry. SHFL staff are able to schedule training around commercial sexual exploitation of youth and human trafficking. Each training is tailored for the audience (professional, community, etc) and can be designed to meet your needs.
SHFL is a licensed Love146 Not A #Number location. Not A #Number is an interactive, five-module prevention curriculum designed to teach youth how to protect themselves from human trafficking and exploitation through information, critical thinking, and skill development. Not A #Number uses a holistic approach focusing on respect, empathy, individual strengths, and the relationship between personal and societal pressures that create or increase vulnerabilities. For more information on the Love146 curriculum click here.
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Yates County Office
Penn Yan, NY
Office Phone: 315-536-9654
Ontario County Offices
Office Phone: 315-781-1093
Office Phone: 585-577-3257
Seneca County Office
Office Phone: 315-568-4200
24/7 Hotline: 800-247-7273
Text Helpline (Monday - Friday 8:30am - 4:30pm): 315-305-2063
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Safe Harbors touches the lives of over 10,000 people each year in the communities we serve, through our prevention education and crisis intervention services.
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