The crime of human trafficking, told through the eyes of victims.

These are survivor-informed lived experiences, composite narratives of real-life situations and events. Can you identify what makes Brian’s experience human trafficking?


Brian needed a job and a group to belong to.

An account of labor trafficking in the industry of traveling sales crews.

I signed up for a job that was described as a sales opportunity, working outside, excellent pay, travel, and fun, young people, plus a $500 signing bonus. It sounded great to me; My parents kicked me out when I told them I was gay.People in vulnerable situations are at a greater risk of being exploited by a trafficker. I needed a job. I needed a family.

I lived with the sales crew on the road, in motels and rentals. At first, it was a good time. We’d get drunk or high after selling, every day we’d party. Things changed fast though. We had rituals and games to get us psyched up for 12-hour, 90-degree days knocking on doors. Whoever sold the least, was beaten down Being physically harmed is force, even if it’s disguised as just part of the job. by the group that night, (no face punches, because we still had to sell the next day). They acted like it was just part of the party lifestyle.

The crew leaders took any money we made This is coercion because the traffickers are creating a situation where the victims can not leave, saying we owed for gas, food and rooms. There was no signing bonus. This is fraud. Brian was promised excellent pay and signing bonus and never got either. They even took our phones. It was like a cult. We were always being watched. Being constantly monitored is a form of coercion to keep you in your bad situation.

When I didn’t meet my sales quota I was the last to eat, had to sleep on the floor, had to pay for all the gas that day, or had to stay in the van so I couldn’t sell, putting me more in the hole. This is also coercion, keeping Brian indebted to them is part of their scheme.

I didn’t have a sales permit, and was cited for solicitation. My crew leader wouldn’t let me show up for court. Now there’s a warrant out for my arrest. This is another form of coercion, keeping Brian even more dependent on his traffickers.

My crew left me This is especially painful for Brian who was already abandoned by his family and now is experiencing the trauma again. It demonstrates how traffickers will use your personal information against you. on the side of the road when I broke my ankle, running for the van.

I have nowhere to go.