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Sex trafficking is a heinous crime that affects countless individuals around the world.

In this article, we’ll explore the realities of sex trafficking, the industries where it occurs, and the legal remedies available to survivors. Let us guide you through the complexities of the legal process. Then, we’ll share some of the resources available to help survivors reclaim their lives and explain how a sex trafficking lawyer can help them along the way.

What Is Sex Trafficking?

Sex trafficking, a form of criminal exploitation, is a grave violation of human rights that involves coercing individuals into engaging in commercial sex acts.

Grooming, a manipulative tactic employed by traffickers, plays a significant role in controlling and manipulating their victims. Shockingly, statistics reveal that 42% of survivors were trafficked by their own families, while 39% were trapped through romantic partners or marriages.

If you or someone you know is in immediate danger or at risk of being trafficked, it is crucial to seek help promptly. The National Human Trafficking Hotline is available 24/7 to assist. You can call the hotline at 1-888-373-7888, text 233733, use TTY at 711, or access their chat feature at Your safety and well-being matter; help is just a call or message away.

Human Trafficking vs. Sex Trafficking

Human trafficking is a multifaceted crime encompassing various forms of exploitation. It can include forced labor (or labor trafficking), domestic servitude, forced child labor, debt bondage, and more. It may involve child soldiers, sex trafficking, and child sex trafficking. Trafficking in persons is a crime of exploitation and coercion and does not require movement across international or other boundaries to be considered unlawful.

Individuals that are already at a disadvantage due to previous violence (including domestic violence, child abuse, and gang violence) are more likely to be in a precarious position that traffickers can abuse.

The Administration for Children and Families Fact Sheet provides information on the services and support available to survivors, as well as the efforts undertaken by the administration to combat trafficking. By referring to this resource, readers can gain a deeper understanding of the impact of human trafficking on individuals and communities.

By delving into these reputable resources, we can all expand our knowledge and awareness of human trafficking, empowering ourselves to contribute to the fight against this egregious crime and support survivors as they move forward.

Where Does Trafficking Occur?

Trafficking knows no bounds and can infiltrate various industries while preying on vulnerable individuals. Some of the sectors commonly associated with trafficking include:

  • Hotels
  • Massage parlors
  • Spas
  • Cruise ships
  • Agriculture
  • Restaurants
  • Salons
  • Elder care
  • Child care
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A lawyer can help you recover financial compensation to cover various aspects, including pain and suffering, lost wages, and relevant medical bills

How Can a Sex Trafficking Lawyer Help Me?

A skilled and compassionate sex trafficking lawyer can provide invaluable assistance in recovering control of your life. When you work with a sex trafficking lawyer, they can:

  • Help you understand what constitutes criminal exploitation.
  • Identify potentially liable parties involved in your case.
  • Connect you to local resources that can aid in your recovery.
  • Thoroughly investigate your case to gather evidence and build a solid legal strategy.
  • Represent you in a trial if a settlement isn’t reached, ensuring your voice is heard, and your rights are protected.

In addition, a sex trafficking lawyer can help you recover financial compensation to cover various aspects, including pain and suffering, lost wages, and relevant medical bills for mental and physical health. This compensation can play a crucial role in the healing process.

Lawsuits provide survivors with a platform to reclaim their voices and contribute to changing public policy. By holding perpetrators accountable and demanding justice through legal means, trafficking lawsuits can help deter future offenders, shed light on a growing industry, and foster a safer environment for all.

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Lawsuits provide survivors with a platform to reclaim their voices and contribute to changing public policy.

Filing a Human Trafficking Lawsuit: What To Know

Criminal vs. Civil Suit

In criminal suits, the focus is on prosecuting the perpetrators; if convicted, they may face jail time due to their actions. On the other hand, civil suits seek financial compensation for survivors from not only the perpetrator but any relevant party whose negligence may have facilitated the crime. In sex trafficking cases, this may include hotels, cruise lines, spas, and more.

The burden of proof is higher in criminal cases, requiring evidence beyond a reasonable doubt. On the other hand, civil cases have a lower burden of proof, typically based on a preponderance of evidence. In this sense, pursuing a civil lawsuit is often in the best interests of the survivor.

Even if a criminal case doesn’t result in a conviction, a survivor can still pursue a civil lawsuit and potentially achieve a favorable outcome.

If you survived human trafficking and believe you have a case, it is highly recommended to consult with a sex trafficking attorney who has experience handling human trafficking cases. They can assess the details of your situation and guide the best course of action.

How Much Is a Sex Trafficking Case Worth?

The value of a sex trafficking case can vary based on several factors. Consulting with a human trafficking attorney who has experience handling similar cases and achieving successful results can provide you with a better understanding of any potential outcomes.

Beyond that, for more information on famous sex trafficking cases, you can refer to the “Investigations and Enforcement” section of the DHS Annual Report. These examples highlight the efforts made to combat trafficking and bring justice. While it can be helpful to look at notable sex trafficking cases for reference, it’s important to remember that each case is unique, and past results do not guarantee future outcomes.

Trafficking is a $150 billion industry, and criminals involved in this illicit trade should not be allowed to keep the money they have made illegally and immorally.

If you believe you have a potential sex trafficking case, it is highly recommended to reach out to a trafficking lawyer who can provide personalized guidance based on the specific details of your situation. They can assess the potential of your case and help you navigate the legal process.

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Your worth is so much more than what they tried to take from you.

A side profile of a woman wearing a hijab that shows pictures of trafficking. The hijab is also covered in chains to represent trafficking

Who Is Liable for Human Trafficking?

In a human trafficking case, not only can individuals involved in the trafficking be held liable, but so can companies that are complicit in or benefit from trafficking: Accountability extends beyond individual perpetrators. A sex trafficking lawyer can play a vital role in identifying all possible liable parties, including both individuals and companies involved in human trafficking.

By understanding the complexities of liability in human trafficking cases, survivors can demand justice and hold all responsible parties accountable for their actions.


Hotels have been identified as venues where human trafficking can occur, with approximately 60% of exploitation worldwide taking place within the hotel industry. Some experts even suggest that the number may be as high as 72%. The prevalence of human trafficking in hotels has prompted legal action, and in 2000, a law was passed to make it easier to sue hotels in such cases.

The hotel industry is particularly susceptible to involvement in human trafficking due to factors such as cash payments, easy access to rooms, and minimal maintenance in facilities. The rise of contactless check-in has also contributed to an increase in these incidents. It’s vital to address this issue by holding hotels accountable for their role in enabling human trafficking.

Below are a few notable cases that highlight the impact of lawsuits against hotels for human trafficking:

  • Days Inn in Philadelphia: The owner of this hotel was ordered to pay $24 million to underage sex trafficking victims.
  • Red Roof Inn: This hotel chain settled a sex trafficking case on the eve of the trial. The allegations included claims that the hotel facilitated the trafficking of victims who were also traded among traffickers. The plaintiffs each sought damages of up to $150 million.

These cases serve as reminders of the importance of holding hotels accountable for their role in human trafficking.

Truck Stops and Warehouses

Truck stops have unfortunately become notorious venues for sex trafficking, where victims are often subjected to exploitation. The victims of sex trafficking at truck stops are particularly vulnerable due to the transient nature of the locations and the potential for anonymity.

In a disturbing case, a sex trafficking operation was uncovered at a medical warehouse in Chino, as reported by ABC7. Both of these serve as stark reminders of the urgent need to address and combat sex trafficking in various industries.

Massage Parlors

Illicit massage parlors have been identified as hotspots for human trafficking. The New York Times has been extensively covering this issue, shedding light on the disturbing realities of the massage parlor trafficking problem that totals $3 billion a year.

How to tell if a massage parlor could be trafficking:

  • Providers wearing little clothing
  • Refusal to service females
  • Advertising on illicit websites
  • You have to buzz the door to be granted access
  • Providers aren’t allowed to handle payments
  • Blacked out windows

Sharing the above indicators (which are far from exhaustive) can help raise awareness and empower individuals to recognize potential instances of human trafficking.

Cruise Ships

Similar to hotels, cruise ships can serve as venues for sex trafficking, driven by factors such as cash payments, easy access to rooms, and minimal facility maintenance. The presence of drugs and alcohol on cruise ships further exacerbates the vulnerability of individuals, making them easy targets for traffickers. The use of date rape drugs is also a concerning issue in this context.

Navigating the complex legal landscape surrounding sex trafficking on cruise ships requires the expertise of a trafficking attorney who understands the intricacies of maritime, international, and U.S. laws in sexual abuse cases. They can provide guidance and support in fighting for justice and holding responsible parties accountable.

Websites or Social Media Apps

The emergence of websites and social media apps has presented new challenges in the fight against human trafficking. The vagueness and novelty of rules like Section 230 make it crucial to work with a human trafficking lawyer who can navigate these complexities and increase the chances of success in legal proceedings. Child abuse and the proliferation of explicit images are particularly concerning issues in this context.

In response to these challenges, California has enacted a new law that holds social media companies liable for allowing child sex trafficking.

The case of Backpage, a notorious website involved in sex trafficking, has garnered attention in the legal realm. Sex trafficking lawyers have been instrumental in pursuing justice in these cases. These Backpage cases highlight the importance of legal action in holding accountable those involved in facilitating sex trafficking through online platforms.


Labor trafficking can tragically occur within the restaurant and food service industry. Victimization typically falls to the economically disadvantaged and undocumented workers.

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How To Report Sex Trafficking

If you suspect or witness sex trafficking, it is crucial to report it promptly to ensure the safety and well-being of potential victims. You can report trafficking incidents to the National Human Trafficking Hotline by calling their hotline or using their online reporting form. This resource provides valuable guidance on reporting and offers support throughout the process.

In emergencies, or if someone is in immediate danger, calling 911 for immediate assistance is essential.

Additionally, you can find information on reporting to various law enforcement agencies, including:

  • FBI
  • U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • Bureau of Diplomatic Security/The Diplomatic Security Service (DSS)
  • National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children can be reached at 1-800-THE-LOST or through their website, They specialize in handling cases involving missing and exploited children and can provide assistance and support in reporting and addressing sex trafficking cases involving minors.

Resources for Sex Trafficking Survivors

Several organizations provide support and resources for sex trafficking survivors. Here are a few notable ones: is a valuable resource that offers connections to health, financial, and legal support for survivors of sexual abuse. We can assist you in finding empathetic sexual abuse lawyers who specialize in providing compassionate legal guidance.

If you are a survivor looking for support and resources, visiting can be a crucial step toward finding the help you need. We have various services to aid your healing journey and can connect you with professionals who can provide the support and guidance you deserve.

The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children focuses on preventing child abduction and exploitation. They provide resources and support for survivors and their families.


RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) is the largest anti-sexual violence organization in the United States. They offer support, resources, and a helpline for survivors of sexual abuse.

An Empathetic Sex Trafficking Lawyer Is Here To Help

If you or someone you know has experienced sex trafficking, reach out to a compassionate and experienced sex trafficking lawyer. They can guide you through the legal process and help you seek justice. To get in touch with a lawyer who understands the unique challenges faced by survivors, talk to today. Our network of sex trafficking lawyers offers free legal consultations.