5 ways to Spot Sex Trafficking Victims in Public in Michigan?

How can you identify sex trafficking victims in public places within Michigan?

It’s been documented that human trafficking occurs during big events such as the Detroit Car and Auto Show, ArtPrize in Grand Rapids MI,  and sporting games such as the Super Bowl, Kentucky Derby, All Star Baseball Week, Nascar. There is also the possibility for this targeted attention at the Lansing Common Ground Festival and other music festivals and concert tours around the Midwest where there is a big gathering of hundreds of people. Specifically, any event where the majority of the audience or crowd is male. Just this year, the FBI tracked down a sting at the Detroit Car Show and arrested 4 pimps and rescued victims who were both young children and adults. 

Detroit Car Show, Photo Courtesy of Crains Detroit Business

How do we know this happens? The online sex ads tend to increase in number in the dating section of Backpage.com and other websites before and during these popular events. The ads are usually in the form of an escort service. Who are the clients? Rich or wealthy white men. An article from WSMV-TV Nashville interviewed Sabrina Bishop from Pennyrile Allied Community Services who commented on the following:

“The traffickers will brand,” Bishop said. “If you see three or four women with the same tattoo, the exact same name, font, colors, it’s a big red flag.”

5 Ways to Spot Suspected Victims of Sex Trafficking in Public – What do they look like? What is their physical appearance? What is their behavior or how do they act?

  1. Does she have tattoos or is she ‘branded’?
  2. Avoids eye contact.
    • The victim may seem shy, paranoid, or anxious.
  3. Never alone.
    • A group of girls with one man acting as the leader (pimp).
    • Does he look much older than the women? Is she much younger than him?
  4. Fashion
    1. Is the woman wearing designer or luxury clothes, dresses, shoes?
    2. Is the female wearing expensive accessories like a watch or Jewelry?
    3. Is her hair done?
    4. Does she have a manicure or pedicure?
  5. Bruises (though not always the case)
    • Scars, burns, or bruises on the body from physical force or trauma
Photo Courtesy of Artprize Daily

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Patch.com: Teens Rescued During Detroit Auto Show
16 People Arrested in Sex Trade Stings During Detroit Car Show
KETV 7 Omaha: Large Events Raise Local Levels in Trafficking 
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
9 Telltale Signs Presence of a Sex Slave
SAS Spreads Awareness

ABC 10 News San Diego