What is Sex Trafficking?

Causing a commercial sex act to occur using force, fraud or coercion, or when the person performing the act is under the age of 18.

Unite to Change the Facts


  1. Busch-Armendariz, N., Nale, N., Kammer-Kerwick, M., Kellison, B., Torres, M., Heffron, L., Nehme, J. Human Trafficking by the Numbers: The Initial Benchmark of Prevalence and Economic Impact for Texas. December 2016. University of Texas at Austin School of Social Work Institute on Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault.
  2. Characteristics of Suspected Human Trafficking Incidents, 2008-2010, Duren Banks and Tracey Kyckelhahn, Special Report, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Washington, DC: April 2011.
  3. Dank, M., Khan, B., Downey, P., Kotonias, C., Mayer, D., Owens, C., Pacifici, L., Yu, L. Estimating the Size and Structure of the Underground Commercial Sex Economy in Eight Major Cities. 2014. http://www.urban.org/research/publication/estimating-size-and-structure-underground-commercial-sex-economy-eight-major-us-cities.
  4. Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. Confronting commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors in the United States. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press; 2013.
  5. Joseph S. Campbell and Anne C. Gannon, Testimony before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, September 23, 2013, available at http://www. fbi.gov/news/testimony/combating-human-trafficking
  6. U.S. Department of Education. Human Trafficking of Children in the United States. 2013. Office of Safe and Healthy Students. https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/oese/oshs/factsheet.html
  7. U.S. Department of State Publication 11407. Trafficking in Persons Report. 2007. Office of the Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs and Bureau of Public Affairs. https://www.state.gov/documents/organization/82902.pdf
  8. U.S. Department of State Publication. Trafficking in Persons Report. 2015. Office of the Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs and Bureau of Public Affairs. https://www.state.gov/documents/organization/245365.pdf
  9. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Global Report on Trafficking in Persons. 2012. http://www.unodc.org/documents/data-and-analysis/glotip/Trafficking_in_Persons_2012_web.pdf
  10. Greenbaum J, Crawford-Jakubiak JE, Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect, COMMITTEE ON CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT. Child sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation: health care needs of victims. Pediatrics. 2015;135:566-574.
  11. L. Lederer, C. Wetzel. The health consequences of sex trafficking and their implications for identifying victims in healthcare facilities. Annals of Health Law, 23 (2014), pp. 61–91
  12. Bartholemew, L. K.; Parcel, G. S.; Kok, G.; Gottlieb, N. H.; Fernandez, M. E. Planning Health Promotion Programs: An Intervention Mapping Approach. Jossey-Bass, 2011.’
  13. Estes RJ, Weiner NA. The commercial sexual exploitation of children in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Philadelphia, PA; Center for the Study of Youth Policy, University of Pennsylvania; 2001
  14. Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. Confronting commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors in the United States. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press; 2013
  15. Smith L, Vardaman S, Snow M. The national report on domestic minor sex trafficking: America’s prostituted children. Vancouver, WA: Shared Hope International (SHI); 2009. Available at: http://sharedhope.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/SHI_National_Report_on_DMST_2009.pdf. Accessed July 7, 2013
  16. Shared Hope International. Intervene: Identifying and responding to America’s prostituted youth. Resource package. Vancouver, WA: Shared Hope International; 2013
  17. United States Department of State. Trafficking in persons report 2013. Washington, DC: US Department of State; 2013. Available at: www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/2013/. Accessed July 1, 2013
  18. American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children. The commercial sexual exploitation of children: The medical provider’s role in identification, assessment and treatment: APSAC practice guidelines. Chicago, IL: APSAC; 2013. Available at: www.kyaap.org/wp-content/uploads/APSAC_Guidelines.pdf. Accessed July 7, 2013
  19. Curtis, R., Terry, K., Dank, M., Dombrowski, K., & Khan, B. (2008). The commercial sexual exploitation of children in New York City: Volume 1: The CSEC population in New York City: Size, characteristics and needs. National Institute of Justice, US Department of Justice
  20. Zimmerman, C., Yun, K., Shvab, I., Watts, C., Trappolin, L., & Treppete, M. et al. (2003). The health risks and consequences of trafficking in women and adolescents: Findings from a European study. London: London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM).
  21. Cunningham KC, Cromer LD. Attitudes About Human Trafficking: Individual Differences Related to Belief and Victim Blame. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. 2016;31:228-244
  22. Macias Konstantopoulos W, Ahn R, Alpert EJ, et al. An International Comparative Public Health Analysis of Sex Trafficking of Women and Girls in Eight Cities: Achieving a More Effective Health Sector Response. Journal of Urban Health. 2013;90:1194-1204.
  23. Fedina, L., Williamson, C., & Perdue, T. (2016). Risk factors for domestic child sex trafficking in the United States. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/0886260516662306
  24. Bouche, Vanessa. TCU Department of Political Science. Report on the Use of Technology to Recruit, Groom and Sell Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking Victims, Thorn, 2015.


by Cyndi Borselino

What motivated me to share my story with my daughter was from the healing I received and realizing past generations of secrets and lies.  I did not want this to go the next generation.  I wanted to see it stop here and now.  I realized the only way for it to stop was to be fully naked and unashamed from my past experiences, which means I need to be transparent especially to my family.  All things hidden in darkness brought to the light, which is what I read in scripture and really felt the Lord Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit was teaching me His living word, coming alive in me.  Bringing darkness to the light means you talk about it and release it, not keeping it hidden inside as a secret filled with guilt, shame, condemnation, unworthiness and so much more.

The truth is I never really felt alive.  I use to describe my life as living inside a glass box where I could see out but could never feel anything at all.  Lack of emotional trust.  I believed I had no soul.  I believed I was created for evil and for men’s pleasure.  I didn’t believe I had a right to feel anything not even anger.  I had self loathng, self hatred.

I still look back and am amazed at how I got out alive.  I was living in a home in Florida, prostituting, getting high and drank daily.  I was only 16 at the time and then turned 17 while living in this lifestyle.  The manager who took care of the property and lived there as well, grabbed me one day and threw my stuff in his suitcase and kept telling me to trust him.  He drove me 2 hours on the highway and dropped me off and told me to never come back for I was in process of getting sold and he told me I wouldn’t get out alive.  I never looked back and I ended up in Albuquerque NM and got a job as a waitress and met an older gentleman who would tell me stories, stories of redemption.  I met Jesus Christ in a powerful encounter at a church service and was amazed that someone could love me even after everything I had done.  I went back to my home town and thought I could save all my family, but instead I ended back in drugs and getting pulled into a scheme from an older man who was creating a prostitution ring in Chicago.  I barely got out alive.  I was shot at. and I told the man when I realized what he was doing that he was from the devil.  He tried to kill me, after that.  I told the Lord if he got me out alive I would follow Him and give up everything for Him.  I did get out alive and went to see my Aunt and Uncle who I knew were Christians.  They led me to a group called “Kings Kids”.  I went and lived there for a year and walked through healing where drug addiction no longer was a problem.  My identity was still in “sex” though and I got in an abusive relationship after I left the group home, but the Lord was still with me and opening doors for me – such as I got an amazing job even though I had no high school diploma let alone a college degree.  I would go to church and pray about the man I was with (who was going to church and a Christian), the Lord said I was not to be with him yet I still felt trapped and unworthy of anything good.  Then I was offered a job transfer to upstate NY.  I felt the Lord opened a way of escape for me again.  So I definitely took it.  Which is where I met my current husband.  He is like Hosea in the bible!  He never even smoked a cigarette let alone pot, he wasn’t a partier or even had a girlfriend other than one for a month.  He had a job at IBM and was a computer programmer.  The Lord told me I was going to marry him on our second date.  I was shocked because he was nothing like anyone I had ever met before.  I wrote a song for him – Please don’t walk away from me it’s not what you think,   it’s just that I have a pain inside that needs to be set free please help me.  I don’t mean to compare you to what I used to know, please be patient, I’m only human but soon I will let go.  I must live for today, You’re a chance  I must take. I’ve got to live for today. With you by my side, this fear I will shake.