• What is Sex Trafficking?

    Sex trafficking is a sexual activity that is exchanged for something of value. It is the second largest, and fasted growing, criminal industry in the world. Unfortunately, sex trafficking is present in our local communities. We want to link families to resources in order to educate and inform people of this growing problem that is impacting our students. It is very easy for traffickers to find victims with modern technology and social media. They often pose as talent agents or children of the same age. They know exactly what they are doing because they are professionals and have perfected their craft of manipulation. They know exactly who, when, where and how to target their victims. Sherburne County has some valuable resources and has created a video with some information relating to sex trafficking. If you have concerns about your child being the victim of a trafficker, please contact the police, Sherburne County Health & Human Services or any of the hotlines listed in the below resources.

    National Sex Trafficking Hotline: Call 1-888-373-7888 or Text 233733 - type "Help" or "Info"

    Alexandria House 24 Hour Hotline  763-780-2330

    What to look for?

    Characteristics of Traffickers (also known as pimps, johns, and exploiters):

    • Promises you things of value in exchange for sexual acts (money, drugs, food, place to stay, etc.)
    • Secretive - doesn't want you looking at their phone
    • Pressures you into getting a tattoo to remind you of them
    • Controls who you hang out with
    • Gets serious in the relationship too quickly
    • Pressures you into sexual acts that make you feel uncomfortable
    • Takes nude photes of you and shares them with others
    • Coaches you on what to say about your age and other personal information
    • Jealous and controlling

    Signs to look for:

    • Children being trafficked are typically ages 11-16
    • Signs of being abused such as bruising or burns
    • Unexplained absences from class
    • Sexualized behavior
    • Overly tired all of the time
    • Withdrawn and depressed
    • Displays expensive items that have been bought for them
    • New tattoo (this is a way for a trafficker to brand the victims)
    • Older or new friends with a different lifestyle
    • Talks about wild parties they attend

     What you can do:

     TO HELP SOMEONE IN NEED:

    • Call the police - minor is protected under the Safe Harbor Law and is seen as the victim
    • Contact school teachers, counselors or other staff
    • Tell a parent or friend's parent
    • Call the hotlines
    • Contact county health and human services

     TO HELP COMBAT THE PROBLEM:

    • Get the word out that sex trafficking is here (tell neighbors, co-workers, post on social media #ItHappensHere2 - no one wants to believe it is happening in their own community, but lack of awareness allows the problem to continue
    • Educate others
    • Volunteer
    • Contact your state and local representatives and ask what is being done to combat the problem