4 Contributing Factors of Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking

It is a commonly held belief that slavery was abolished 150 years ago, but reality reveals that more people live in slavery today than in any time in human history.

Continue reading for a look into why we see this problem still exist in our world today.

4 factors that contribute to DMST

  1. It is a heart problem
    DMST and other forms of Commercial Sexual Exploitation exist around the world in every country on earth, across cultures and demographics. We see this issue as a heart problem at its core and the only answer is the power of love! Its insidious and pervasive nature reveals a great darkness that can only be cured with love.
  2. Vulnerability
    The universal trait perpetrators seek as they search for victims is vulnerability. 

    Vulnerability can be many things. Children who come from broken, dysfunctional or abusive families are vulnerable. Children who are left to navigate social media and the internet without parental supervision are vulnerable. Children seeking love, affection, attention and affirmation outside of a loving family are vulnerable. Children who have already experienced sexual abuse and trauma are misunderstood, discriminated against, subjected to victim blaming and stigmatized, making them vulnerable to re-victimization. The simple innocent naivety of children makes them vulnerable. Minorities are at a greater risk for vulnerability. Poverty, homelessness, peer group, lack of opportunity, substance abuse, disabilities and many more reasons all can make one vulnerable.

  3. Lack of awareness
    Some horrors are so great that we want to look away. We must be willing to open our eyes to the suffering and violence around us. This is often a problem that is hidden in plain sight. A basic education of awareness can equip ordinary people in all walks of life to recognize the signs of human trafficking and know what action to take. Inaction and willful ignorance allows these victims to continue to be isolated and marginalized, and for this darkness to spread. 

  4. Weaknesses in law enforcement and legislation
    Many law enforcement officers lack training and proper understanding of DMST, and frequently misidentify the victims and crimes. The disproportionate arrest rates of victims when compared to their exploiters are evidence of this. There is also a terrible lack of appropriate treatment facilities, e.g., restoration homes, to take in and help these individuals.


UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Article 3 paragraph (a) p42. Retrieved from: http://www.unodc.org
Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) of 2000, Pub. L. No. 106-386, division A, 103(8), (9) 114 Stat. 1464; codified as amended as 22 USCS 7102(8) [Title 22. Foreign Relations and Intercourse; Chapter 78 Trafficking Victims Protection]
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WHISPER (Women Hurt in Systems of Prostitution Engaged in Revolt) National Task Force
 Farley, M. (2004). Prostitution is Sexual Violence. Psychiatric Times. Retrieved from http:// www.psychiatrictimes.com/sexual-offenses/content/article/10168/48311
Seattle: Northwest Resource Associate. (1993). Survival Sex in King County: Report Submitted to King County Women’s’ Advisory Board
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