HART funds registered service agencies to support survivors of sex trafficking in the GTA

Learn how to recognize if someone is being groomed, or is being trafficked.

Signs for caregivers to look for can include the following:

  • Boyfriend or girlfriend seems controlling of the youth’s decisions 
  •  Sudden changes within their social circles or new friends who are older
  •   Carries multiple hotel key cards
  •   Has a new/unusual tattoo
  • Appearing scared, secretive or agitated when answering a cell phone
  • Hiding their screen when someone enters the room
  • Being vague/secretive about their boyfriend/girlfriend 
  • Using substances such as alcohol or drugs to cope and/or is coping with psychological disorders, sexually transmitted diseases, or chronic illnesses
  • Taking sexual photos for unknown purposes
  • New items they can’t afford (ex. unexplained money, clothing and other expensive gifts, sudden change in their appearance including how they dress and grooming habits)
  • Vague talk of a new friend, but offering no further information
  • Unable to give answers about where they go, or what they are doing
  • Their story does not add up
  • Experimenting with risky sexual behaviours or drugs
  • No longer seeing previous friends 
  • Appears to have low self esteem 
  • Skipping school or running away 
  • Spending an extreme amount of time on the Internet

Click here to refer to the Victim Services Durham Region website on how to talk to your child about sensitive topics, and for more information. If you believe someone is in danger call your local police to report suspected human trafficking.