National Survey of Residential Programs for Victims of Sex Trafficking

National Survey of Residential Programs for Victims of Sex Trafficking

National Survey of Residential Programs for Victims of Sex Trafficking

Key findings

Through a survey, researchers sought to learn about residential programs for trafficking victims in the U.S. The purpose was to share available programs and services with other jurisdictions to better serve victims of trafficking. A listing of programs identified through the survey is provided in Appendix B.

The following are key findings about residential programs for victims of sex trafficking in the U.S.

  • Nationally, a total of 33 residential programs were found to be currently operational and exclusive to trafficking victims with a total of 682 beds, two in Illinois.
  • Residential programs were open in 16 states and the District of Columbia; California had the most with nine residential programs offering 371 beds for victims.
  • The Western region of the country had the most residential programs for victims with 59 percent of the total beds available there. In California, there were ten residential programs with approximately 54 percent of all beds for trafficking victims.
  • Twenty-eight states had no residential programs for victims of sex trafficking and no plans to open any.
  • Most of the programs accepted both domestic and international victims (64 percent) and 36 percent were exclusive to victims of domestic sex trafficking.
  • Most available beds in residential programs (75 percent) were designated for minor victims of sex trafficking.
  • Of the surveyed programs, there were fewer than 28 beds for male victims of sex trafficking.
  • All but one of the residential programs indicated they offer residential services 24-hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Twenty-eight of the 37 operational facilities have aftercare services for the victims leaving the residential program.
  • Many agencies indicated that they would be opening a residential program—a total of 27 programs offering 354 more beds.


Domestic sex trafficking is a violation of human rights and considered to be a form of modern day slavery. It is recognized as a growing issue in U.S.; however, the extent of trafficking remains unknown. Traffickers and victims often avoid detection since much of the criminal activity is hidden and victims rarely seek help or report their situation to police. Furthermore, what constitutes trafficking is often misunderstood. Trafficking victims do not have to be foreign-born or transported across borders; in fact, many are born in the United States and are never moved from their recruitment city. Victims of trafficking often suffer from serious physical and psychological problems. Historically, there has been a limited number of shelters and services available and fewer with the capacity to appropriately treat the severity of their problems. However, there has been a recent trend around the country to open residential facilities designed to better serve this population.

Residential programs around the country were surveyed in order to learn how many residential programs for victims of sex trafficking were in operation. Thirty-three residential programs in the United States were found that offer services to trafficking victims, two in Illinois.

Read more here.