Human trafficking is defined as “a crime involving the exploitation of someone for the purposes of compelled labor or a commercial sex act through the use of force, fraud, or coercion” (Trafficking Victim’s Protection Act).
It is a fast growing criminal industry estimated at $32 billion dollars per year, and it happens right here in Nevada County. Nevada County is located near Sacramento, a major trafficking hub and is located near I-80 which is one way traffickers move victims from one location to another. Sex or labor trafficking victims can be women or men, adults or children, citizens or noncitizen.
An adult is sex trafficked when they are induced to perform commercial sex by means of force, fraud or coercion. However, where a person is younger than 18 years old and induced to perform a commercial sex act, it is a crime regardless of whether there is any force, fraud, or coercion.
In labor trafficking cases, the trafficker must also have used force, fraud, or coercion for it to be considered labor trafficking.
The AMP Model:
The “Action-Means-Purpose” Model can be used to describe the elements of human trafficking. Cases that are considered human trafficking involve three elements:
- Action (recruiting, harboring, transporting, providing or obtaining of an individual)
- Through Means (force, fraud, coercion)
- Purpose (compelled labor/services or commercial sex act(s)
DVSAC offers a wide array of services for victims including: emergency shelter, confidential safe house, one on one therapy, support groups, social service advocacy and accompaniment as well as immigration visa advocacy.
Often victims of labor or sex trafficking or other forms of exploitation do not see themselves as victims, which can make it challenging to offer them assistance and provide services. You, as an informed citizen, may be someone’s only hope of escape. Know the signs, learn to ask questions, and respond when you suspect trafficking or exploitation. Call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center’s 24 hotline at 1-888-3737-888 to report a tip or seek assistance; call DVSAC’s 24 crisis line at 530-272-3467 or call your local law enforcement.