Within every single trafficking situation is an exploitation of vulnerabilities, which means that everyone who is vulnerable is at risk for exploitation.
To help you understand the vastness of this epidemic here in North America, in a 2014 report, the Urban Institute has estimated that the underground sex economy ranged from $39.9 million in Denver, Colorado, to $290 million in Atlanta, Georgia. Although these numbers may seem huge, as more individuals are recruited and as more vulnerabilities are exploited, trafficking continues to grow, which means that we as a society needs to respond through education, prevention, and collaborating resources for survivors.
Eyes can only see if they are open...
human trafficking is happening all around us
RED FLAGS USED TO HELP IDENTIFY VICTIMS OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING
To accurately identify victims of trafficking, please notate that 3-5 five of these red flags need to be present. Just because you see one or two of these red flags does not mean that you are witnessing a trafficking situation. If a trafficking situation is suspected, please do not approach possible traffickers or deal with the situation yourself. Instead, reach out to your local police department if one appears to be in immediate harm or danger and/or call the National Human Trafficking Hotline (1-888-373-7888) to make a report and get support. Also, please notate that there are red flags specific to each profession (e.g., medical providers, police officers, etc.) and that this is simply a broad guideline. Reach out to BridgeHope for your future training needs.
- Multiple cell phones
- Never alone
- Talking about the game
- Older boyfriend (know though that females can be pimps too)
- Looks down when talking to you (no eye contact) or belligerent affect response
- Has expensive things that were "gifted" or expresses that he/she needs to pay someone back for something
- Isolation (incudine lack of education)
- Talks of promises that were made (large amounts of money, future pursuits, etc.)
- Symptoms of domestic violence/intimate partner violence
- Debt bondage
- Poor working and living conditions
- ID has been withheld
- Prostitution charges
- Censored communication
- Past Trauma (sexual, emotional, psychological, spiritual, and physical abuse)
- Chronic runaway
- Talks about having to pay to keep or get a job
- Individual has no details of job in writing
- Highly controlled work setting (including where the employer fails to pay wages)
- Dissociation and trauma responses