Trafficking FAQ

Human trafficking affects both adults and children, men and women, and people from all parts of Texas, the United States, and around the world.


There are four major types of trafficking:

Adult Sex Trafficking - Trafficking of adults for sex by force, fraud, or coercion in strip clubs, brothels, massage parlors, street prostitution, or internet prostitution

Adult Labor Trafficking - Trafficking adults for labor by force, fraud, or coercion into industries, such as agriculture, food service, manufacturing, domestic servitude, or hospitality

Child Sex Trafficking - Trafficking children, under the age of 18, by any means into the commercial sex industry

Child Labor Trafficking - Trafficking children, under the age of 18, by force, fraud or coercion into industries such as agriculture, food service, manufacturing, domestic servitude, or hospitality.

What do traffickers look like?

There is no one particular look to a trafficker. Traffickers are people who are willing to treat other people like objects or commodities that they can buy, sell, or exploit for their own benefit. They can be:

  • People of all races
  • People of both genders
  • Family members
  • Peers
  • Employers
  • Gang and cartel members
  • Strip club owners/managers
  • Intimate partners
  • Neighbors and friends
  • Online acquaintances




Red flags for Adult Sex Trafficking, Engaged Prostitution, or Survival Sex

Important red flags to look for:

  • Contents of the vehicle/location
  • Hotel receipts
  • Drug-store receipts
  • Lingerie
  • Condoms
  • Female personal hygiene items in a place of business
  • High-end clothing recently purchased
  • Hotel keys
  • Rolls of money
  • Prepaid credit cards
  • Tattooing/branding
  • Lack of eye contact
  • Bruises, swelling, and/or redness
  • Third-party control of the person’s schedule, identifying documents, money, and/or travel
  • Sex ads linked to the individual’s phone number

Red Flags for Illicit Massage Parlors / Spas

Important red flags to look for:

  • Permit or license for something other than actual business
  • Male clientele
  • Location may have a guarded entrance
  • Open at unusual hours compared to the businesses on either side
  • Cameras both inside and outside
  • Location storefront may be curtained off/blocked, etc.
  • Location may be locked and opened only when someone at the door with a phone
  • “Employees” may be ferried to and from work by the “spa” or may live at the location
  • Men walking through the parking lot, seem to be confused, and/or talking on their cell phones
  • Condoms in the parking lot, drains, or pipes

What are common myths about sex trafficking?

Myth:  We live in a slavery free world.

Reality: There are 25 million people enslaved worldwide with another 15 million in forced marriages. 

Myth:  Trafficking is a crime all about movement, immigration, and 18-wheelers.

Reality:  Smuggling and Trafficking are two distinct crimes.  Smuggling is a crime against the border where someone enters a country without the appropriate documentation, typically by paying someone else to smuggle them across the border.  It requires transport and movement from one country to another, and both the person coming in without permission as well as the person bringing them are committing a crime. Trafficking on the other hand does not require movement.  You can be trafficked in your own home, and you can be trafficked in your own country by a fellow U.S. citizen.  For example: A mother who brings people to her home to have sex with her underage child is trafficking the child even though the child never leaves the house.  Only the trafficker is committing a crime when they exploit someone else for forced labor or forced sex.  

Myth:  This doesn’t happen in my hometown.

Reality: Trafficking is occurring in cities and towns all across Texas.



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If you suspect trafficking or need assistance:

I am a service provider in the community and I think I might know someone who has been or is being trafficked. What is the process to refer someone to Open Door Survivor Housing?

It can feel like a daunting task to determine whether someone qualifies for services through our program. So we are prepared to take on this responsibility for you. At the bottom of this page you will find a link to our Open Door Survivor Housing referral form. Simply complete the form and send it back to us and one of our team members will follow up with you.


I am a survivor of sex trafficking, prostitution, or survival sex and I would like more information about Open Door Survivor Housing. Who do I contact to learn more or to apply for the program?

You are welcome to complete a referral form for yourself if you’d like, or just give us a call at our office and someone will be glad to help you and answer any questions you might have.

Contact Information:

P: 806-368-5374


If you’re in crisis you can contact Voice of Hope at 806-763-7273