Parent Fears That Child May Be a Victim of Human Trafficking

What should we do if it turns out that our child has actually fallen under the control of criminals who market vulnerable teens to customers in the "sex trade?" Without going into details, I can tell you that we have good reason to believe our daughter has become a victim of human trafficking. As you can imagine, this discovery has turned our world upside down. We realize that this is an extremely dangerous situation, and we have no idea where to turn for help.

First, we want you to know that our hearts go out to you in the midst of this nightmarish situation. If you’re convinced that there are valid grounds for your suspicions, we’d urge you to contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline without delay. The number is 888-3737-888. We’d also like to invite you to call Focus on the Family’s Counseling department. Our counselors can help you wrestle with the emotional aspects of your situation, direct you to professional therapists practicing in your area, and provide you with a number of other helpful resources and referrals.

Ultimately, it would be ideal if you could find a way to report your fears to the civil authorities. Unfortunately, the government cannot take action against human traffickers or help enslaved individuals unless the victims are willing to prosecute. We realize, of course, that this would be extremely risky for you and your child at this point because of potential violence. That’s why we’d advise you to get some expert counsel (from our counselors or the National Human Trafficking Hotline) before taking any definite action.

You didn’t specify whether the traffickers have abducted your child or otherwise removed her from your immediate sphere of influence. If you still have access to her, you need to do everything in your power to remove her physically from any further threat of danger. If possible, send her out of town or out of state to stay with relatives for the time being. If you’re afraid of retaliation, contact the police to ask for their protection. Do this even if it means reporting the details of the case sooner than you had intended.

Finally, we want you to know that our prayers are with you. We have no desire to over-spiritualize or make light of the very real and present risks you’re facing. But we do want to remind you that God has pledged Himself to stand by those who trust Him in all kinds of trials and tribulations. Jesus is our Savior. He relieves the oppressed and sets the captives free. He has promised never to leave you or forsake you if you make Him your refuge and strength. May His grace be revealed to you in a tangible way as you put your faith in Him.


If a title is currently unavailable through Focus on the Family, we encourage you to use another retailer.

Human Trafficking: What You Need to Know

Exposing the Dark World of Human Trafficking

Stolen: The True Story of a Sex Trafficking Survivor

The White Umbrella: Walking With Survivors of Sex Trafficking

Shared Hope International

National Human Trafficking Resource Center and Hotline – 1-888-373-7888

Signs That a Child is Being Trafficked

Protected Innocence Challenge

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