Common Myths

Learn what’s real and what’s not.

Common Myths

Let’s what’s real and what’s not.

We know exactly how many children are sexually exploited and trafficked.

FALSE.  Unfortunately, the numbers are hard to calculate. Since the sexual exploitation of children is hidden and underreported, we don’t know the exact numbers. Still, all major organizations involved in fighting the sexual exploitation of children note numbers reaching well into the millions, meaning that the time to act is now.

The sexual exploitation of children and child sex trafficking doesn’t happen in Canada.

FALSE. Sexual exploitation of children and child sex trafficking happens all over Canada- in malls, online, out of foster homes, in school parking lots, in coffee shops, in the house on the street not far from you; but also along highways, in motels, bars, restaurants, massage parlours and strip clubs. In Canada, it was found that 1 in 4 sex trafficking victims are under the age of 18.

The primary group of people who are sexually trafficked in Canada are Canadians.

TRUE.  In Canada, 93% of sex trafficking victims are from Canada, not other countries. The majority of those people are under age 24.

The children forced into the sexual exploitation of children are prostitutes and criminals.

FALSE. Any child, who is under the age of 18, can’t give valid consent to any commercial sex act. If the child is in this type of situation they’re automatically deemed to be exploited.

But it’s important to note how many of these children are also forced to partake in illegal activity such as drugs, stealing, fraud etc. These crimes they commit are because of the situation they’re forced into and shouldn’t define them.

Traffickers/pimps can be anyone.

TRUE. Traffickers/pimps can be any age, gender identity, religion, race, or socioeconomic status.

Traffickers/pimps, known in “the game” as “managers”, are common, every day looking guys and sometimes girls and women – articulate, savvy and on the surface, friendly. Most have no criminal record.  They’re often family members or close family friends.

The people who purchase children for sex are all paedophiles.

FALSE. Not all of them. Paedophilia is the condition of being sexually attracted to young children who haven’t gone through puberty yet. While rings of paedophiles exists, painting all child sex perpetrators as paedophiles masks the fact that even “normal” people in our communities also buy sex from children.

The victim is always kidnapped and held against their will.

FALSE. You’ve seen it in the movies: dark, dirty rooms, and kidnapped victims wearing heavy chains. While this does happen, more often, the victim knows the person who is trafficking them. Maybe it’s a “boyfriend”, best friend, family member, family friend or someone they met online. 

The sexual exploitation of children affects boys, too.

TRUE.  Listen up guys, this issue affects you too.

Around the world, 31% of purchased children are boys. Boys are especially vulnerable and less likely to seek help because there’s a greater sense of shame, they believe their manhood is diminished, they fear being seen as homosexual, or they’re from a more religious background and feel that they’ve gone against their religious beliefs.

What’s scary is that traffickers/pimps are saavy, and look out for boys that they can groom to join their game. Educate yourself and your friends to stop the risk of falling into their trap. “The life”, for guys and for girls is a very dangerous game, filled with brainwashing, physical abuse, complete loss of power, disease, and a criminal record. It’s not fast money, big houses and nice cars, but a false promise and a pipe dream. Protect yourself! Learn how.

The victims of trafficking are eager to escape.

FALSE BUT READ ON. Believe it or not, many of the children that are trafficked see their pimp as a “boyfriend” or someone they love. Traffickers brainwash victims to believe this and these bonds can be formed in 24 hours.

Often times, traffickers take control of the victim’s earnings, leaving the victim to depend on them for food, shelter, validation, clothes etc. At the same time, they isolate victims from their families, friends, social networks, and activities.

Let’s not blame them for staying, let’s try and understand their situation.

Women are traffickers/pimps.

TRUE. Traffickers and pimps can also be women on their own or because they’re forced. Male traffickers and pimps are skilled at manipulating girls and women into doing their criminal bidding. Studies show that girls who feel “rescued with love” by their pimps are not only the girls who will stay in “the game” the longest, they will be the least likely to report their traffickers AND more likely to act as recruiters for their pimp. They approach other girls and begin the grooming process.

We can’t make a difference.

FALSE. Sexual exploitation of children affects us, as young people, directly. We are the ones at risk and we are also the ones with the power to end it. OneChild needs your unique voice, talent, courage and dynamism to end the sexual exploitation of children and trafficking. Book a OneChild speaker to come to your school, raise awareness, fundraise or volunteer with us. It’s time to end this.

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Unit D3, Suite 124,
Markham, ON
L3R 5G1

OneChild Network & Support Inc. is a registered Canadian charity: No. 831160544RR0001

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