By Diana Gaytan
According to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, there were 7,527 reported cases in 2016. 5,551 of them were cases of human sex trafficking.
In the state of Texas, 670 cases of human trafficking were reported in 2016. 473 of those cases involved sex trafficking and 574 of those victims were females.
Many victims are as young 12-14 years old, usually lured in public places like malls, parks, schools, neighborhoods and clubs.
The Internet and social media outlets have made it easier for many online predators to lure women and young girls into sex trafficking.
Young girls are often manipulated into thinking they are booking modeling jobs, music videos or acting jobs; however, in many cases, they many end up being kidnapped.
There are many other reasons young girls become involved sex trafficking, such as low self-esteem or a dangerous home environment.
Brothels are where most of their “business” is conducted. Many of the victims experience false sense of being loved by the so-called pimps whom are usually abusive and controlling.
Unfortunately, the severity of this problem is not properly addressed in entertainment. Many rappers and hip-hop artists have glamorized the concept of the “pimp” in their music and music videos, which tend to include extremely violent or sexual imagery.
However, celebrity activists such as Angelina Jolie, Emma Thompson, and Jada Pinkett Smith work with non-profit organizations to bring awareness and know the signs of sex trafficking.
As of today, there are more than 80 non-profit organizations around the world that are working towards ending human sex trafficking.