Protecting Your Child From a Romeo Pimp

“I thought he loved me and then he sold me.”
-Romeo Pimp Survivor

Human trafficking is the fastest growing criminal activity in the world. The term refers to a bevy of acts that includes both forced labor and sexual exploitation. Many people think of the movie “Taken” when they think of young girls being sex trafficked. More than 100,000 children a year are forced into sex trade, but this isn’t because of a massive kidnapping organization. Instead, it is because pimps now have easy access to children through the internet and cell phones. One of the ways traffickers target girls and young women is through romantic relationships, both online and in person. These types of traffickers are often referred to as Romeo Pimps.

What is a Romeo Pimp?

A Romeo Pimp, or Loverboy, is the type of human trafficker who tries to get young girls, teens or women to fall in love with them. Romeo pimps will treat their victims as girlfriends upfront often showering them with gifts such as jewelry or clothing. This relationship and the victim’s trust will eventually be used to the pimp's advantage. The Romeo pimp will use his influence to exploit his victim by forcing her into the sex industry.

Gaining a victim’s trust can occur online or in person. In both online and in person scenarios, the pimp will promise a better future. If the victim and the pimp have never met the pimp will use these promises to lure his victims to his town.

While all of this is going on, the pimp will slowly work to isolate his intended victim from his or her family, friends and community. In essence, he creates an environment where the victim is totally dependent on him (or her) for material and emotional needs.

Once the brainwashing is complete, things will quickly change. The pimp will then convince her that he needs her help to make money. The money will support them and their dream. Refusal to turn tricks may result in a beating or other abuse until the victim complies.


How to Spot a Romeo Pimp