What is sexual exploitation and sex trafficking?

If you are being forced into having sex so that someone else can profit from the sale of your body, you are a VICTIM of what’s called human trafficking. If this is happening to you and you are under 18, this is called the “commercial sexual exploitation of children.” A person of any age who is being forced to perform sexual acts for someone else’s profit is being exploited.

Human trafficking and sexual exploitation happens to people of all ages and genders. Under the law, you do not have to prove you were tricked or violently forced into sexual exploitation to be considered a VICTIM of human trafficking.

How do you know if you are being sexually exploited? Check out the list below.

If any of these things describe what’s going on with you, please seek help from someone you trust or from one of the resources we have listed below.

  • Exchanging sex (oral, anal, hand jobs or other sexual acts) for money.
  • Exchanging sex for stuff (food, clothes, shelter, protection, drugs, or other goods).
  • Doing nude modeling, pornography, fetish work, erotic massages, or live chats for money.
  • Your boyfriend/girlfriend or friend asks or forces you to have sex or perform sexual acts with others for money.
  • Your mom/dad, family member, or a stranger tells you or forces you to perform sexual acts for money or goods.

If you are not sure if you are being sexually exploited or if you or someone you know may be sexually exploited PLEASE talk to someone you know or trust and ask. If you are not sure who to ask, or if you don’t know someone you can trust and that will help you can contact one of the following:

Where to Start:

  • DCFS hotline: 1.800.540.4000
  • Saving Innocence: 1.323.379.4232
  • Children of the Night: 1.800.551.1300
  • National Human Trafficking Hotline: 1.888.373.7888 or
  • Text INFO or HELP to BeFree (233733) – 24/7
  • Los Angeles Human Trafficking Hotline:  888-539-2373
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