As we work together to eliminate human trafficking in our communities, one of the key tools we can use is the knowledge to recognize and report activity that you suspect may be human trafficking.
By learning the signs below, you can play a key part in identifying victims of trafficking. We encourage you to learn more about this issue through these resources [Link to website resources page] and taking action in other ways that make a difference by helping spread awareness [Link to get involved page] . Whether you are participating in a training or helping spread awareness in your community, the movement to end human trafficking takes many forms. Learning the signs is just the beginning.
Human trafficking can be broken down into two categories - labor trafficking or sex trafficking. The signs listed below can apply to someone in either circumstance:
An individual who may be a victim of human trafficking may...
Not be free to leave or come and go as they wish
Lack knowledge about their whereabouts
Live and work in the same location
Work excessively long and/or unusual hours
Not able to speak for themselves and/or someone else does all the talking on their behalf
Have been recruited through false promises concerning the nature of and/or conditions of their work
Show signs of physical and/or sexual abuse, physical restraint, confinement or torture
Be unpaid, paid very little, or paid only through tips
Have few or no personal possessions
Display hyper vigilance in their behavior
In addition to the signs above, also be aware of the below signs, specific to the type of trafficking.
An individual who may be a victim of sex trafficking may...
Frequently runaway or have high instances of truancy
Have a boyfriend/girlfriend/partner that is significantly older
Use slang that may be new to you (http://sharedhope.org/the-problem/trafficking-terms/)
Show up with new clothing, gifts, or lifestyle changes that are are not in congruence with that individual’s typical behavior
Be new to the area or seem to travel very often
Display “brands” in the form of tattoos or other bodily markings
Have have evidence of untreated STDs
An individual who may be a victim of labor trafficking may...
Owe someone a significantly large debt
Have no control of their own money
Have no financial records or bank account
It’s important to remember, that the signs above are not a checklist. The presence or absence of a sign is not necessarily proof that an individual is or isn’t being trafficked.
If you suspect that an individual is being trafficked, do not intervene or put yourself in immediate danger.
Use your best judgement and report activity that your suspect to be human trafficking to to the one of the following:
National Human Trafficking Resource Center:
Text "HELP" or "INFO" to BEFREE (233733)
Contact your local law enforcement agency
BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR OUR HUMAN TRAFFICKING AWARENESS MONTH POSTERS ON AREA BUSSES ALL JANUARY LONG.