What to do if you suspect your child may be a victim of sex trafficking in the Bay Area:

Do not at any time attempt to confront a suspected trafficker directly or alert a victim to your suspicions. Your safety as well as the victim’s safety is paramount. Instead, do the following:

  1. Dial 911 or your local law enforcement agency.
  2. Report a missing child to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678).
  3. AFTER you have competed steps 1&2, email us at with (a) your child’s full name, (b) birth date, (c) photo, (d) your name, (e) phone and (f) address. Please tell us (g) which law enforcement agency you first contacted with your report and (h) the names of officers you spoke with.

We take tips very seriously.


To establish trust

Groomers peruse middle schools and high schools targeting young girls / boys who are most at risk: those with low self-esteem who are struggling with family, friends, money or schoolwork. They become best friends with the youth and stay good friends for months.


To control them

Sex traffickers make sure your daughter / son is having "fun" and feels a sense of independence. He readily supplies the child with alcohol and drugs, often getting the youth addicted so the person does not know what is happening to him / her.


To separate them from family

The groomer criticizes parents, says their rules are unfair, muses child should run away and deserves better.


To separate them from friends

The groomer introduces teens to new "friends" who are more "fun."


To change a victim's moral compass

The groomer shows them porn, convinces them it's exciting, that parents don't understand their generation, etc.


To make money off them

The trafficker physically lures the victim away from families and friends through brainwashing and coercion in order to make money selling the child for sex and to have sex with them themselves.

Note: It is illegal to file a false crime report. Doing so could result in up to six months in jail, a fine up to $1,000, or both.

A Child’s Perspective

“He told me he loved me and that he cared about me.”
"He made me feel loved and secure. That I could trust him and tell him everything that I was going through at that time. Never made a “pass” at me then, just showed what I thought was ‘genuine friendship.’”
"He was very sweet and loving and said that he would never force me to do anything that I didn’t want.”
"He acted like he cared for me and had my best interest at heart.”
"He was really nice. He gave me things. He was attractive. He was supportive.”

Source: Thorn survivor insides study 2018; Polaris.