When Women Traffic Other Women

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.

Women in the World