Additional Resources


mama bear!overview-of-h-t-world/ccf6!overview-of-h-t-world/ccf6



Why Her? The Psychology of Choosing a Victim

In 1943, Abraham Maslow published “A Theory of Human Motivation.” His theory is that humans have a hierarchy of needs ranging from the most fundamental needs at the lowest level to the need for self-actualization at the highest level. Humans can’t reach the next level of “need” until they achieve the prior level. Here is a simple example of this concept:

why her chart 1

But today traffickers are using this theory to identify the needs of our youth. Traffickers may follow a recruitment process similar to this:

  1. Identify the need of the child
  2. Fulfill the need
  3. Remove any other sources of need fulfillment 
  4. Exploit the child’s dependence for need fulfillment by forcing them into prostitution

One reason traffickers pray on kids is because they are more vulnerable than adults. They are more naive, and at-risk kids who have experienced abuse or extreme conflict in their homes may not only be eager to run away, but may also be desperate for the love and attention of an adult. Many kids who run away from home do so because they experience abuse, or because a member of the family is an addict, is violent, or both. If runaways have nowhere to go – no friends or other family members they can rely on and trust – they need to find food and shelter someplace else, which makes them especially vulnerable to trafficking. Here’s how a pimp might use Maslow’s theory:

why her chart 2

If you know or meet a girl who exhibits some of these signs, don’t be afraid to ask questions:

  • At risk of being homeless or running away from home
  • Severe family issues like drug addiction, alcoholism or abuse
  • Signs of fear, anxiety, depression, tension or nervousness
  • Hyper-vigilant or paranoid behavior
  • Interest in relationships with older men
  • Unexplained shopping trips or purchases of new clothing and/or jewelry, especially if the clothing is revealing or suggestive
  • A “boyfriend” who seems overly-concerned with her whereabouts or is otherwise controlling

If she is in trouble, you may be the only one who tries to intervene. If you need help or guidance, or want to report a suspected case of human trafficking, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline: 888.373.7888.



grooming article

grooming image


Find additional resources and information at Darkness to Light,

Translate »