Pledge to Recognize What Love Isn’t And Trafficking Is

Love is ….. Never having to say you’re sorry? A many splendored thing? All you need? There are as many ways to define what love is as there are individual love stories. Where things get trickier is defining what love isn’t - and how to recognize when what someone thinks is love is actually a cynical business proposition. 

Sex traffickers frequently use the promise and power of love - both romantic love and the love of family and friends - to lure vulnerable people into their schemes. Year after year, data from the National Human Trafficking Hotline shows that the majority of people in sex trafficking situations were recruited into trafficking by intimate partners or family members.

Call them Romeo pimps, or finesse pimps - or call them mom, or uncle - the tricks of their trade follow predictable patterns you can spot if you know what to look for. But recognizing potentially abusive situations is only one piece of the work. The hard part is having those difficult conversations to do something about it: Talking to teens in ways that they’ll hear; telling a friend who thinks she’s in love that you are worried about her; finding help for an angry child who can’t tell you what’s wrong.

That’s what we are asking you to do. It isn’t easy but it matters.


If you understand how trafficking really works, you can make a difference in the life of someone you love. I pledge to:

  1. Learn about what grooming in sex trafficking situations looks like and share what I’ve learned with my community. 

  2. Have hard conversations with friends and loved ones who are in relationships that raise concerns. 

  3. Help people in my life, particularly those who are struggling emotionally, recognize the patterns of potential traffickers. 

  4. Keep an eye on younger children in my life, looking for anger or behavior that may be a sign of something else. Don’t jump to conclusions, but also don’t assume that nothing is wrong.


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