FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

WHAT IS THE MOST COMMON FORM OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING IN ORANGE COUNTY?

Sex trafficking is the most common form of trafficking found in Orange County, with an estimated 83% of victims identified as sex trafficking in comparison to labor trafficking.

ARE MOST VICTIMS U.S. CITIZENS?

So far, in Orange County the vast majority of victims have been U.S. citizens. It is in part due to proactive law enforcement investigations, as well as language and cultural barriers often encountered with foreign victims.

WHERE IN ORANGE COUNTY DOES THE MOST HUMAN TRAFFICKING OCCUR?

No city is immune to human trafficking. Labor trafficking victims can be found working as domestic servants inside any private home. Some cities have a more visible "track" where street prostitution activity occurs. However, with the easy transaction and ease of selling and buying sex online, more sex trafficking can be found taking place in hotels/motels, massage parlors, and residential brothels in any neighborhood, including more affluent neighborhoods in South Orange County.

HOW DO YOU IDENTIFY A VICTIM OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING?

Human trafficking is an exploitation-based crime where the deprivation of a person's liberty, usually under conditions of force, fraud or coercion is exercised in order to carry out acts of labor or commercial sex to the benefit of the trafficker. In situations where the victim is a minor, under the age of 18, and involved in commercial sex, it is automatically considered sex trafficking and exploitation. Victims of human trafficking rarely self-identify or understand themselves in such terms legally, academically, or culturally. However, that does not mean they do not know what their personal experience feels like as it relates to control, violence and fear. The impact of trauma and how a victim perceives or remembers the violent acts against them need to be understood in the context their history, relationship with the perpetrator, emotional and cognitive development, and support system. 

HOW CAN I GET MORE INVOLVED?

There are different ways for you to get involved with the anti-human trafficking efforts in Orange County. You can do something on your own or work in collaboration with efforts already in place with the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force and partners. Whether you are interested in just learning about the issue, volunteering, donating, increasing awareness or create projects, there's a little bit of something for everyone.

CAN I VOLUNTEER FOR VICTIM SERVICES?

Yes. However, working directly with victims through the victim services program is a multi-step process that require volunteers to go through training and background checks. Please take into consideration commitment, dedication, and flexibility before considering volunteering with direct victim services and the impact it may have on a victim's road to healthy healing. The volunteer program is designed around a strength-based approach and using volunteers as helpers not saviors.

ARE ALL PEOPLE ENGAGING IN PROSTITUTION WORK SEX TRAFFICKING VICTIMS?

No. You must meet the legal definition to be considered a victim of the crime of human trafficking, whether for purposes of sex trafficking or labor trafficking. However, it is possible for a sex worker to not start out as a victim, but become victimized later. Using a victim-centered approach does not automatically make all people engaged in prostitution victims, but it does approach the investigations process differently.

CAN YOU PROVIDE HUMAN TRAFFICKING AWARENESS AND PREVENTION PRESENTATIONS IN SCHOOLS?

Yes. Depending on personnel availability we can provide prevention presentations at schools or connect you with a community partner who is already providing presentations for schools.

ARE THERE PROSTITUTES THAT ARE IN SEX WORK WILLINGLY?

Yes. Those who engage in commercial sex work ranges from independent sex workers who do not have their liberty deprived or work under conditions of force, fraud or coercion, to survival sex work due to economic and living hardships, to victims of human trafficking. The majority of females contacted by the OCHTTF have been under the control of a pimp or trafficker. Simply legalizing prostitution to protect a sex worker's rights and the sex industry, without taking into consideration the many other factors of the complex victimization process ignores being victim and survivor informed or thoughtfully asking the right questions of which environment would make things worse for victims.

ARE THERE JOBS AVAILABLE WITH THE TASK FORCE?

Job opportunities available and working within the Task Force are determined by the partnering agencies separately. All inquiries must go through the individual collaborative agency's human resources department and employment openings. We do not take resumes.

CAN I INTERVIEW A SURVIVOR OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING?

It depends if there is a survivor willing, available and ready. Most of the clients are still in the recovering process through the victim services program. It is our practice to avoid retraumatizing the victims by sharing their personal story again unnecessarily. Privacy and the safety of our victims are also taken into consideration, as well as their choice to live a normal and quiet life.

DO YOU HAVE SURVIVORS WHO CAN TALK AT OUR AWARENESS EVENT?

Yes, on occasion we do have survivors who would like to do more survivor advocacy to help other victims out there. We do ask for advanced notice for scheduling purposes and the ability to offer a speaking fee for their time. If it is for a fundraising event for your organization, there may be additional questions to make sure we are following ethical policies concerning financial transcations.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I CALL THE NATIONAL HUMAN TRAFFICKING HOTLINE AT 888-3737-888?

The National Human Trafficking Hotline is not an emergency response system. The hotline is operated by non-profit organization, Polaris Project, based out of Washington D.C. The hotline collaborates with different task forces, law enforcement agencies and victim services providers across the United States and globally. However, the response procedure varies from agency to agency and location. Typically, hotline operators will connect you to the resources in the area you are calling from or asking for further assistance. The hotline is available 24/7. anonymous, and ability to access to multiple languages. 

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