call the National Human Trafficking Hotline if you suspect human trafficking!
They are available to help in any language.
Tel: 888-3737-888 — 24 hours a day/7 days a week
Text: BeFree (233733) — daily 3pm-11pm EST
"See something. Say something. Do something ... safely." All too often we notice that someone may need our assistance, but are unsure of how to help. We at Trinity believe that many of us have seen human trafficking victims, but have not recognized it for the slave labor it is.
Don't be a rescuer or an investigator. Allow those trained, such as law enforcement and Hotline operators, to do the investigative and follow-up work. Your primary concern is to assist; you don't want to re-traumatize the victim by having them re-tell and re-live their abuse. If you do get an opportunity to compassionately and safely talk to or interact with a suspected victim, the above link provides questions that may assist to identify if you or if someone you know is being trafficked for their labor or services.
Note down the facts you witnessed and take a picture, ONLY if it is safe to do so. Do not become a victim yourself.
Don't intervene directly with the victim unless they ask you for help or you are able to do so safely. Otherwise, you may place yourself at risk or your intervention could cause the traffickers to retaliate against the victim, exposing them to further harm. The traffickers want to maintain control over the victims — those who they treat as commodities. It's a business for the trafficker and they will protect their goods. Traffickers can be armed and violent. Keep the victim and yourself safe.
Share the Hotline number with the victim. The victim may not be ready to leave. They may be protecting a friend or family member — including those living abroad — who may be threatened by the traffickers. You don't know the totality of their circumstances, so don't be a rescuer. Share the Hotline number with them so that they can make a call when they are ready and feel safe.
Call 911 if someone is in immediate danger.
Immediately call or text the Hotline if you suspect trafficking. Time is of the essence. Traffickers move victims frequently. If you suspect trafficking and call 911, follow up with a call to the Hotline. The Hotline operators can take time to assist you further. They also track human trafficking incidences across jurisdictions, thereby assisting law enforcement to follow the movement of trafficking cases outside of their own jurisdiction to other police departments. The Hotline operators also provide general information on human trafficking and can assist you with any questions you may have. They are accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in 92 languages.
Reassurances to Give Potential Victims:
"You are a victim, not a criminal."
Often times, traffickers make their victims believe they are criminals rather than victims; thus, the victim may be reluctant to come forth with their circumstances. Traffickers accomplish this through physical and psychological manipulation defined as "force, fraud or coercion" under the law. Force is physical violence. Fraud is trickery and games. Coercion is mental manipulation through threats.
For example, a trafficker may seize a victim’s passport and visa. The trafficker then tells the victim that if you attempt to leave, you'll be perceived as an illegal immigrant, be arrested and be deported for not having legal papers. This would be considered coercion.
Reassuring the victim that they are a victim and not a criminal is an important step before assisting them to seek help.
"Our first priority is your safety."
Safety is the first priority for a trafficked victim. Law enforcement can protect domestic and foreign trafficking victims even when their visa and passport have expired. There are shelters and safe houses for trafficking victims.
Reassure them that there are ways to protect them and that safety is your first priority for them. The National Human Trafficking Hotline can help get them to safety.
"There are services available to assist you."
The National Human Trafficking Hotline can put the victim in touch with local service providers.
Immediate assistance may include:
Housing, food, clothing, legal immigration status (continued presence), legal assistance, employment authorization, medical and dental care, and psychological counseling.
Long term assistance may include:
T visa immigration status, legal assistance, housing, food, skills development, job training, education, medical and dental care, and psychological counseling.
"We can work with you to avoid deportation."
Short and long term assistance with legal immigration status is available for foreign national trafficking victims, short term, in the form of continued presence and, long term, under a T visa. Some family members may also be protected with legal immigration status under a derivative T visa.
Contact Trinity to find out whether you and your family members qualify. We have provided legal services to other victims of trafficking.
Contact Trinity or call the National Hotline if you or someone you