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Hyde Hotline warns of sex trafficking and the Internet

The Internet plays a significant role in both the recruitment of victims and the facilitation of sex trafficking, according to information furnished by Hyde County Hotline.

Traffickers use social media and dating websites to contact potential victims.

Eight percent of the 292 survivors whose accounts were analyzed told the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) hotline and Polaris’ BeFree Textline that they first met their controller online.

However, this kind of information was provided by only a small subset of survivors and questions regarding how individuals were first contacted by their traffickers were not systematically asked.

Traffickers are able to advertise commercial sexual services on websites with relative anonymity. These sites provide an easy and cost-effective way to advertise to a wide selection of customers.

Polaris regularly hears from survivors that they were advertised for commercial sex on a number of websites. One website which advertises commercial sex services listed nearly 12,000 ads nationwide for these services on a single day in 2014.

Purchasers of commercial sex use online forums to review their experiences and spread information about how to avoid law enforcement detection.

Traffickers may also use the social media posts of victims to monitor their activities or track their location. On the other hand, survivors have also successfully used social media sites to reach out for help.

The purpose of Hyde County Hotline Inc. is to work to eliminate domestic abuse and sexual victimization and provide safe shelter in Hyde County through the collaborative efforts of a compassionate community. We promote dignity, respect and safety at home resulting in safer communities.

We love volunteers! Please help; call Hyde County Hotline at 252-925-2502. Visit us at: Website: HydeCounty-Hotline.org or on Facebook: Hyde County Hotline.