The FBI’s Los Angeles field office has rescued 33 missing children in an anti-human trafficking probe called “Operation Lost Angels.”

The initiative was launched on Jan. 11 and recovered sexually exploited children, some of which were considered vulnerable at the time of their disappearance, according to reports.

In a statement released Friday, the FBI revealed some victims struggled to understand the reality of their situation after being sexually exploited.

“This harmful cycle highlights the challenges victims face and those faced by law enforcement when attempting to keep victims from returning to an abusive situation. Victims may not self-identify as being trafficked or may not even realize they’re being trafficked,” the FBI statement read.

Out of the 33 children who were rescued, eight were sexually exploited and two were recovered multiple times, CNN reports. The FBI revealed some rescued victims return to commercial sex trafficking “either voluntarily or by force, fraud, or coercion.”

One of the children recovered was kidnapped by a parent and others were arrested for robbery, probation violation, or other misdemeanors.

To carry out “Operation Lost Angels,” the bureau worked with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Los Angeles Police Department, and dozens of law enforcement agencies and non-governmental partners, including victim advocacy organizations.

“Human trafficking is a pervasive and insidious crime that threatens the safety of our young people, who are the future of our communities,” LAPD Chief Michel Moore said in a statement.

“We can only begin to take back the future of our youth with the strong partnerships forged between outstanding service providers and law enforcement.”

Following the recovery of the missing children, the FBI has been working with its partners to assist the victims in receiving both legal aid and medical care.

FBI In this photo, the FBI building is seen in Miami, Florida, June 23, 2006. Photo: Getty Images/ Joe Raedle