Sara didn’t know that she was in trouble until it was too late. She thought that her parents were way too nosy and up in her business, so she decided she was going to get out of the house on a Friday night and take a ride share to the mall and meet some friends. Even though her parents thought this was totally safe, her taking a ride to a public place, meeting friends, “knowing” where your child is etc. this was not the case. What she didn’t expect was that the ride share driver had been laying in wait in her general neighborhood and was hoping to profile a victim and deliver them into the hands of another person, a “handler” or trafficker for a fee.
Sara thought she was fine, totally safe and now doing something everyone else did, just getting a ride to the mall. Her Mom knew, her Dad knew, even her friends that were meeting her at the mall knew. But what she didn’t expect was all the super friendly questions coming from the driver, where he learned who she was, he already knew where she lived, and now that she was super “over” her parents being on her all the time about where she was going. Sara never knew that when that driver dropped her off he sent her conversation details and description to a trafficker already in the area, who was ready to make a move on her there. He would know what she was wearing, he’d know even who she was meeting and now, because of that ride share driver, that she wanted to get away from her over protective parents. So, her trafficker showed up that night at the mall, and already knew exactly what to say. He knew how to relate to her, he even got her number in a casual exchange, and they began a seemingly innocent back and forth banter that was a little flirty, and Sara felt totally fine about that. Her friends did too. What Sara didn’t know was that she’d fallen into a very well thought out trap. A trap that ends in trafficking.
Eventually he convinces her to send him a picture of her legs or maybe just what she looks like right before school or going out. He’s ultimately aiming for the prize, a compromising photo he can use to blackmail her into what eventually be sex work. If she doesn’t yield, he’ll share that picture with her Mom, her Dad, her online community. She’d be “outed” as a tramp. Now he has the green light, something that will “make her” willingly submit to his requests. The next step is convincing her that he loves her and cares for her in a way that her parents can’t. He creates a chasm of infatuation with her, a captivating romance now evolves into a sexually active relationship. It all sounds innocent at first, but really this is a calculated dance, that’s strategically planned to capture young children and lure them away from their families, while keeping them safe in their beds at night.