Posted by Bellefaire JCB on April 13, 2016

Sex Trafficking Warning Signs for Minors

  • Youth Homelessness Youth Homelessness
  • Prevention & Early Intervention Prevention & Early Intervention
  • Counseling and Community Services Counseling and Community Services

Youth from every socioeconomic background are at risk for sexual exploitation. Knowing the red flags and indicators of sexual trafficking is key to identifying victims and helping them obtain the assistance they need. Familiarize yourself with the warning signs that could be present when a child or teen is involved with human/sex trafficking.


  • Does the youth exhibit signs of physical and/or sexual abuse? Are there bruises on the face?
  • Do you notice a new hair style, wig or polished nails -- knowing that the youth does not have the funds for these services?
  • Is there a new tattoo on the back of the neck or wrist?


  • Is the youth running away to unknown places and for unknown reasons?
  • Do you notice a pattern in the time of day the youth goes missing?
  • Is the youth away or working excessively long and/or unusual hours?
  • Is the youth unpaid, paid very little, or paid in return for food, clothing and housing?
  • Has the youth been promised unrealistic opportunities like a modeling career?
  • Is the youth unable or unwilling to identify the name of an employer or person picking them up from your home?
  • Is the youth saying they are working, but you do not see a paycheck?
  • Is the youth not sure of their residence or appear confused about where they stay?


  • Does the youth present with a heightened sense of fear or anxiety?
  • Is the youth depressed, submissive, tense, nervous and/or paranoid?
  • Does the youth refuse to make eye contact?
  • Does the youth feel hopeless or out of control?
  • Is the youth at risk of self-harm because of increased hopelessness and/or feeling trapped?
  • Does the youth have numerous inconsistencies in his/her story?
  • Does the youth lack access to health care?

Human Trafficking Resources

A goal of Bellefaire JCB’s Homeless and Missing Youth team is to intervene before a youth becomes a victim of labor or sexual trafficking. Victims are treated as property to be bought, sold, forced to work and sexually exploited under control of a trafficker, pimp or madam.

Additional resources are available through the Ohio Attorney General’s website.

If you suspect or know a youth is in trouble, call: 24/7 Homeless & Missing Youth Hotline 216-570-8010 or FBI Tip Line 216-522-1400, or your Local Law Enforcement 911

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