The breaking phase occurs when a trafficker introduces his victim into “the life”. For some this can be very violent, including gang rapes, for others it may be giving an illicit massage to one of the predator’s friends.

Shame is often used to maintain power and control. Statements like: “You are just a whore now” “No one will believe you” “Your family won’t love you anymore” “You are the one committing a crime” may be used.

If recovery of a victim is not made prior to this breaking phase it becomes much more difficult.



Stable: the group of victims under the control of a pimp/trafficker. The average is 3-5.

The Life: what a victim refers to being trafficked as.

The Game: what a pimp/trafficker refers to trafficking as.


  • 25% of survivors report when sold online they saw an average of 10 buyers per day [source]. The number slowly goes down from there.


Complex Trauma:

In all trafficking situations complex trauma occurs that can be persistent and devastating. Trauma effects the body on every level, it removes the ability to self-regulate which then interferes with a victim’s perception and cognitive ability. Trauma is experienced not only from the interactions with their pimp/trafficker but with every sexual encounter the victim experiences. The trauma associated with just one day in “the life” is hard to comprehend, let alone years.

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