Image of phone being held in someone's hand depicting messages sent saying: "U in the game?" "be my rider" "tho" "r u working but not holding any money?" "telly ting"
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We’ve talked about the stages of human trafficking and what makes femme-identifying youth vulnerable or a target.  It’s not always easy to know if you or your friend is being trafficked. Here are some signs to look for:

  • Uses language/vocabulary related to trafficking such as: “u in the game” or “be my rider” or ‘telly ting”
  • Excessive primping – getting your nails or hair done.
  • Show signs of trauma and/or abuse – withdrawn, not trusting
  • Gets Sexually Transmitted Infection (STIs), or becomes pregnant
  • Seems disconnected or isolated from the outside world and is withdrawing from friends
  • Is secretive, very protective of her privacy
  • There are signs of a controlling or abusive relationship like not being allowed to see friends or family
  • She is always with her ‘boyfriend’/’partner’ who seems very controlling
  • Has unexplained money for clothes, getting hair did and jewellery
  • Has no identification; all of her documents like birth certificate/passport, health care have been taken away
  • Shows evidence of being in the sex trade: large number of condoms, 2 phones, lube, etc

These signs are indications, and don’t each individually mean that someone is being trafficked.

If you read through and see a lot of signs, or are concerned that you or someone you know is being trafficked in Canada –  check out East Metro Youth Services for more information and support. Reaching out for help could break the isolation.

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