Over the last several weeks, we have been sharing a peek behind the curtain to show readers what our counter-trafficking team is encountering in searching for victims. Here is another example of the complicated types of trafficking cases we uncover.
Most of us are proud of our family’s background, heritage and contribution to society. This pride often drives younger generations to follow in their family’s footsteps through hobbies, school choices, college majors or professions. In the case of familial trafficking, no one should be handed this type of legacy.
Our counter-trafficking team recently identified a young woman being sold through escort ads. As we delved into her social media and located other sites where she was being sold, we quickly realized we weren’t dealing with just one woman, but two or more.
This case was particularly confusing as images of the individual bore obvious similarities but also subtle differences. Before long, we realized we were actually investigating at least two members of one family with strong physical resemblances.
From what we could deduce, an aunt was allegedly selling herself and at least one niece, if not more, for sex.
Based on our findings, it’s unlikely this was a new pattern of life for this family. It would appear that trafficking in this family has been taking place for quite a long time, possibly for generations.
As far as a family legacy goes, this is a tragic one. We hope and pray that at least one family member in this circumstance would recognize they have the ability to stand up and bring an end to this painful pattern of familial abuse.
At ATP, we investigate a large variety of trafficking crimes. When we have adequate evidence to support a case, we pass the information to local law enforcement for next steps in rescuing victims and apprehending criminals.