Georgia Cares understands that myths surrounding youth that are victims of commercial sex trafficking or exploitation exist. Such misconceptions alter public opinion and perception of this population, while also hindering community advocacy to support and treat these youth as victims of sexual abuse. As a state resource, our goal is to increase our reach in educating communities about the issue, not only to inform, but to dispel these myths. The below list serves to answer common misunderstandings that we encounter in hopes to challenge inaccurate opinions of the youth that we serve. If you have a question that is not listed below, please contact our office for further information.
Myth: All traffickers are male.
Fact: Youth who Georgia Cares serves have traffickers that are both male and female.
Myth: Youth who are sexually exploited or trafficked are "bad".
Fact: The passing of Senate Bill 69 expanded the definition of child abuse to include abuse when a youth is a victim of commercial sexual exploitation. Georgia Cares supports that all youth who are victims of exploitation or trafficking are victims of abuse, and understands that these youth are not "bad" but youth that have had bad things happen to them.
Myth: Youth choose to enter into the sex trade.
Fact: Youth who are victims of exploitation or trafficking are often seduced, coerced or forced into exploitation or trafficking. Traffickers often identify youth's vulnerabilities and prey upon normal desires for love, attention, material items, and the meeting of basic needs, such as shelter or food.
Myth: Sex trafficking is a foreign problem, and doesn't happen in Georgia.
Fact: Georgia Cares has received over 1,000 referrals for youth from Georgia that are victims of trafficking in Georgia. To date, we have received referrals from 114 counties across the State.
Myth: Only girls are involved in sex trafficking/exploitation.
Fact: Georgia Cares works with confirmed victims of exploitation that identify as Female, Male or Transgender.
Myth: Human trafficking must include the transportation or travel of people across state or national borders.
Fact: Human trafficking does not require transportation, travel or movement of youth. Sometimes, transportation a youth across state and national borders is involved, but it is not an element of the trafficking definition. The exploitation of the person or youth is what makes the person a victim of Trafficking. Remember, the crime of human trafficking is not synonymous of smuggling.