The arrest and con­vic­tion rates for human traf­ficking aren’t much better. The National Insti­tute of Jus­tice (NIJ) states, “Due to the under­ground nature of traf­ficking, the number of vic­tims is unknown.” In a 2012 report to the NIJ on Iden­ti­fying Chal­lenges to Improve the Inves­ti­ga­tion and Pros­e­cu­tion of State and Local Traf­ficking Cases, North­eastern Uni­ver­sity and Urban Insti­tute researchers reviewed data in 12 coun­ties from human traf­ficking cases closed by 2010 for both sex and labor traf­ficking. Sev­enty per­cent of the traf­fickers were male. The other 30 per­cent were females.

Who are these women?

According to the researchers, they were approx­i­mately 10 years older than their vic­tims and were former vic­tims of sex traf­ficking who, instead of escaping, decided to go into the same busi­ness. They had first­hand knowl­edge of what that life meant. These women had been threat­ened, abused, demeaned, iso­lated, con­fined, demor­al­ized, med­ically neglected, drugged, dom­i­nated, con­trolled and sub­se­quently sur­vived to become the next gen­er­a­tion of traffickers.

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