13yrs old


Traffickers/Pimps use violence and psychological manipulation to control girls and convert their bodies into cash.

(Shared Hope International)


While children exploited in prostitution are often arrested, their buyers and traffickers go largely unpunished.

(Shared Hope International)

Tanya was walking home from middle school one day when she met her first pimp. He drove up beside her in a fancy car and told her she was pretty. Tanya was a smart kid; at the time she was taking classes for gifted and talented children. Every day for six months he met her after school and they talked. He bought her small gifts and she said that she felt special to have someone care about her.

He was making an investment, an investment of time and a crafted illusion of trust and loyalty that bound her emotionally to him. After six months she finally agreed to get in his car. When the car door shut Tanya’s life changed forever; her “boyfriend” was actually a pimp. Tanya had never left her community before, but she suddenly found herself far away from home. Her boyfriend revealed his true motive with regular beatings to establish absolute control over her; he took away her identity and made her his slave.

For the next five years he prostituted her to over 100 men per month. She knew she couldn’t run; she had already seen proof of his terrifying promise: “You’re mine, I know where I got you and I can get you again.” She was arrested for prostitution over 17 times in nearly as many states. There was no safe place for her to run, and with each arrest she spent more time in jail labeled a child prostitute and charged with the crime committed against her, Tanya was without hope for rescue.

Thankfully, a diligent law enforcement officer recognized Tanya as a victim and she was finally rescued; she is now free from a life of prostitution and her pimp is serving 40 years in prison.

(Story via Shared Hope International)

At 15 years old, Erica had already slipped through the cracks. Her father had abandoned the family and her mother was barely able to pay the bills. After a fight with her mom one night, Erica decided to run away.

For the next month, Erica stayed with different friends and only went to school a few times. One evening while hanging out at the mall, Erica and her friend were approached by two older guys who quickly showed an interest in getting to know them. After spending a few hours together, the older guy, Jason, told Erica something that she’d never heard from anyone. He told her that she was beautiful and that she should become a model.

Jason promised Erica that he could get her a small modeling job and convinced her to go with him to Atlanta. With nothing else going for her and the excitement of new opportunity, Erica packed what little possessions she had and left Toledo with her new found“boyfriend.”

Jason pulled into a small hotel one evening and told Erica that they were running low on money and would need her to make some extra cash. Erica quickly caught on to what was happening and adamantly refused to sell her body to anyone! That night Jason severely beat and raped Erica, locking her in the bathroom for the rest of the night.

The next evening, when Jason again told Erica that she would be selling her body… she silently agreed.

The next few months consisted of Erica being prostituted out in a different city every few nights; often advertised online or dropped off at truck stops. The more money that she made, the better treatment she received; so Erica learned to smile and pretend to welcome each new customer. The nightmare didn’t end until one night when a mindful truck driver noticed the young girl walking the back row of the truck stop and called the police.


Youth who come from dysfunctional families in which there was abuse or trauma are particularly vulnerable to a trafficker’s/pimp’s method of recruitment and control.

(Shared Hope International)

1 out of 3

runaways are approached by a pimp/trafficker within the first 48hrs.

(Dept. of Health & Human services)


Typically, victims must have sex with 1-15 men daily, generating $500 to $1,000 or more per night.

(Polaris Project)

Online Marketplace

Law enforcement across the U.S. have identified online sex ads as the number one platform for the buying and selling of sex with children and young women.

(Polaris Project)


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