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Human trafficking is not human smuggling. Human trafficking is an exploitation-based crime, not transportation-based crime.


Human smuggling is a crime committed against a border, where the object being transported illegally (i.e. person) is the offense being committed.

Human trafficking almost always has movement involved. However, the elements of the crime are not tied to the movement, but the exploitation that has occurred to the person in the form of labor or commercial sex work.


Trafficking can happen before, during or after the transportation of the victim from one location to another.

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Between 2012 and 2015, 78% of the victims were from outside of Orange County. Of the 180 victims who were not from Orange County, 56% were from other counties in California and 22% from outside of California.

With American victims, movement is a normal part of "the life". Victims of sex trafficking do not stay very long in one location before they have to move again, from city to city and across states. The frequent movement of victims has it's purposes:


(1) Disorientation of time and space, never really knowing where they are at any given time; (2) Creation of greater dependency on all means of life survival by the trafficker who is in control of their every action (3) Easier to evade law enforcement (4) Go where the money is. Like all business and marketing strategies, the law of supply & demand.


Between 2012 and 2015, of the 183 perpetrators arrested and prosecuted, 20% originated from Orange County, 71% were from other counties in California and 9% from other states.


"Instead of using terror and violence, use psychological warfare...which is often more treacherous than physical abuse."

"Prey on the weak. Most hoes have low self-esteem for a reason. A pimp looks for that weakness and uses it against them. If you can't find a weakness, you have to create one."

"You have to tear someone's ego down to nothing before they will start looking to you for salvation. They begin to see you as their hero - even if the weakness you rescue them from is the one you created."

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The lure of jobs and a better life through foreign job recruitment companies, illegal brokers or human smugglers are often used. Although it almost always starts with fraud, the coercive or forced elements of trafficking may not occur until during or after the victims arrive in the country or place of work. 

"The word victim brings me down and makes me feel sad. Survivor makes me feel the opposite, happy and strong. Victim sounds like death. When I think of victims, I think of homicide, rape, etc. It doesn't make me feel good about being a victim of human trafficking. Survivors makes me feel stronger. I look back because I was able to go through that whole situation and still be here alive. I often felt like I was going to die when I was in that situation, like when I was in my trafficker or customer's car. They had no door handle on the passenger's side so I couldn't get out."

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