Sex Trafficking Awareness Program
Don’t live in the shadows of sex trafficking abuse.
You have options for a brighter future!
- About the Program
- Upcoming Community Conversation Meetings and Events
- Statistics and Reports on Sex Trafficking
- Resources for Youth
- Resources for Adults
About the Program
San Diego is on the FBI’s list as one of the top 13 highest sex trafficking areas in the country.
Out of the Shadows is a program designed to raise public awareness about the problem of sex trafficking in our city, bring to light the plight of sex trafficking victims and at-risk youth, and provide resources and support services for those in need in the San Diego area.
Events Photo Gallery
Upcoming Community Conversation Meetings and Events
Statistics and Reports
Although slavery is commonly thought to be a thing of the past, human traffickers generate hundreds of billions of dollars in profits by trapping millions of people in horrific situations around the world, including here in the U.S. Traffickers use violence, threats, deception, debt bondage, and other manipulative tactics to force people to engage in commercial sex or to provide labor or services against their will. (Source: Polaris National Human Trafficking Resource Center)
San Diego Sex Trafficking Statistics
- California harbors 3 of the FBI’s 13 highest child sex trafficking areas in the nation: Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego. (Source: The Federal Bureau of Investigation's Efforts to Combat Crimes Against Children, Audit Report 09-08, January 2009)
- Sex trafficking is San Diego’s 2nd largest underground economy after drug trafficking. The underground sex economy represents an estimated $810 million in annual revenue. (Source: University of San Diego Human Trafficking Study)
- 15 years old is the average age of entry into child commercial sexual exploitation. (Source: University of San Diego Human Trafficking Study)
- Sex trafficking facilitators control 4.5 victim/survivors on average. (Source: University of San Diego Human Trafficking Study)
- At least 110 gangs are involved in commercial exploitation of people (CSEP). 85% of pimps/sex trafficking facilitators interviewed were gang involved (Source: University of San Diego Human Trafficking Study)
- Those who are vulnerable to fall victims of sex trafficking are homeless (55 percent) and those in the foster care system (28 percent) (Source: University of San Diego Human Trafficking Study)
- Transborder criminal networks are involved in trafficking minors and adults between Mexico and the United States. (Source: University of San Diego Human Trafficking Study)
National and International Sex Trafficking Statistics
- There are approximately 20 to 30 million slaves in the world today. (Source)
- 26% of the world’s trafficking victims are children. (Source: International Labour Organization)
- The average age a teen enters the sex “slave” trade in the U.S. is 12 to 14-years-old for girls and 11-13 years of age for boys. (Source)
- Many victims are runaway girls who were sexually abused as children. (Source)
- Victims span every socioeconomic and family background (Source: San Diego County District Attorney's Office )
- One in six endangered runaways reported in 2014 were likely sex trafficking victims. That is up from one in seven in 2013. (Source: National Center for Missing and Exploited Children)
- Traffickers are increasingly using social networking apps and sites to target and recruit children. ( Source: National Center for Missing and Exploited Children)
Reports on Sex Trafficking and Human Trafficking
- Human Trafficking Study (San Diego) - Studied the relationship of street gangs as facilitators of sex trafficking by University of San Diego Joan Kroc School of Peace Studies and Point Loma Nazarene University (October 26, 2015)
- Sex Trafficking in the U.S.: A Closer Look at U.S. Citizen Victims - Report that provides crucial insight into the realities of sex trafficking in the U.S. based largely on experiences reported by U.S. citizen survivors.
- Blueprint: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Domestic Sex Trafficking of Girls (Source: Center on Poverty and Inequality at Georgetown Law School
Media Stories on Sex Trafficking in San Diego
- 01/04/15 – Union-Tribune: County Must Not Be Sex-Trafficking Hub (Editorial)
- 12/11/14 – Union-Tribune: Feds - Gang lured schoolgirls to sex trade
- 01/27/14 – KPBS: Sex Trafficking Overtakes Drugs As San Diego County Gang’s Top Cash Source
- 01/11/14 – NBC 7: DA Human Trafficking Prosecutions on Rise in San Diego
- 01/08/14 – Fox 5: 24 San Diego gang members indicted for sex trafficking
- 10/26/12 – CBS News 8 – Teenage escort talks about sex trafficking in San Diego
- 04/12/12 – East County Magazine: Stolen Innocence – Human Trafficking in San Diego County
- 05/18/09 – Channel 10: Kimberly Hunt’s undercover investigative report on sex trafficking in the streets of San Diego.
Resources for Youth
There’s hope for a brighter future!
Need help now or know someone who does? Call 1-888-3737-888 or text BeFree (233733).
- Survivor Story: On new beginnings - When victims finally escape their traffickers, it’s important to remember that their stories are just beginning
- Girls Only Toolkit – learn how to avoid negative and potentially dangerous situations, make healthy choices and build your self-esteem!
Resources for Adult
- Parent Guide to Gangs
- Protecting Children Online
- National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
Report suspected human trafficking activity by calling 1-888-3737-888 or texting BeFree (233733).
Resources on Gangs
San Diego's District Attorney says the biggest trend in sex trafficking today is the increasing involvement of street gangs. Tattooing the girls is a popular way for gangs to identify their slaves and there are more than 4,100 gang members in 91 gangs in the City of San Diego.
- Gang Hotline (Anonymous line) 619-533-4874
- Bilateral Safety Corridor Coalition (BSCC) - An alliance of over 60 government and nonprofit agencies in the United States and Latin America that is convened in and along the U.S. - Mexico Border Region to combat slavery and human trafficking.
- San Diego Commission on Gang Prevention and Intervention
- San Diego Human Relations Commission
- San Diego District Attorney’s Office – Human Trafficking