CoastLine: The Link Between Prostitution and Human Trafficking

Aug 30, 2017

This episode first aired on May 26, 2016.

August 25, 2017 update:  Lindsey Roberson now serves as a Trial Attorney in the Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit, Civil Rights Division, at the U.S. Department of Justice. 

On this edition of CoastLine, we shine a light on a criminal enterprise that has overtaken illegal gun trafficking as the second-most prolific crime around the globe for making money.  Human trafficking, which can include sex trafficking, is on the rise around the world and here in southeastern North Carolina. 

One of the more prevalent myths around prostitution is that a woman or man, boy or girl, selling sex is  willingly – even eagerly – violating the law.  But a new understanding of the industry is emerging for law enforcement, and that change is reflected in evolving state laws.  The traditional paradigm identifying who is perpetrator and who is victim is changing for authorities as they learn more about why prostitution is so often linked to human trafficking.    


Lindsey Roberson is a Founding Board Member of A Safe Place, a Wilmington nonprofit that provides housing and other services to victims.  She's also a former prosecutor in the District Attorney’s Office for New Hanover and Pender Counties and helped author The Safe Harbor Act


A Safe Place

Toll-free, anonymous hotline for help:  855-723-7529


To report suspected human trafficking:


To get help from the National Human Trafficking Resource Center:


or text HELP or INFO

BeFree (233733)