The life expectancy of a child victim of sex trafficking is just seven years. AIDS and homicide are usually how they die. Think on that fact while we bring your attention to the documentary “Surviving Sex Trafficking” to be shown at the 2022 Santa Fe Film Festival. Local Executive Producer Heather Badal joins actor Alyssa Milano and rap artist Jeezy among others to show how sex-trafficked women who were caught up in modern-day slavery exist now.

Director Sadhvi Siddhali Shree, a Jain monk living at an ashram in Dallas who works against child and domestic abuse of all kinds, interweaves three main stories in the film. Badal said she learned so much about the types of sex trafficking and how victims are taken in.

“There are many ‘flavors’ of sex trafficking–parents who sell their children, or girls who find an online Romeo to ‘take them away,’ for example,” she said. “Many of them go back into the life, sometimes due to drug addiction.”

Badal, who owns Flawless Med Spa in Albuquerque, said the producers plan to air the film again at a to-be-determined location here in March. She is also involved with 505GetFree.org, a nonprofit offering immediate services to sex-trafficking survivors.

Here are a few tips on observing possible signs of human trafficking in your community by The LifeLink.org, a Santa Fe Organization that offers a help line and services for victims of human trafficking.

Human Trafficking Indicators

While not an exhaustive list, these are some key red flags that could alert you to a potential trafficking situation that should be reported:

  • Living with employer
  • Poor living conditions
  • Multiple people in cramped space
  • Inability to speak to individual alone
  • Answers appear to be scripted/rehearsed
  • Employer is holding identity documents
  • Signs of physical abuse
  • Submissive or fearful
  • Unpaid or paid very little
  • Dressed inappropriately for the weather

Film poster by Dreamworks.