Human trafficking is tough to spot. Just because you don’t notice it doesn’t mean it’s not happening. Four signs that could indicate someone is being trafficked are 1) Lack of control, 2) Abnormal behavior, 3) Poor mental health, and 4) Poor physical health.
Lack of control could look like…
- Restricted or controlled communication with others
- A lack of personal space or appearing to be closely monitored
- A teen or pre-teen with overly sexualized behavior for their age
- A brand or tattoo of a name, barcode, or symbol
Abnormal behavior could look like…
- Fearing law enforcement
- Being unaware of what city they’re in due to frequent relocations
- Wearing expensive items they weren’t able to afford before
- Exhibiting hypervigilant behavior
- Having a new, older boyfriend/girlfriend that they don’t want around their other friends
- Gang affiliations
Poor mental health could look like…
- Appearing to be fearful or submissive when approached
- Seeming depressed or emotionally detached
- Showing overt symptoms of torture, abuse, or general distress
- Substance abuse or addiction
Poor physical health could look like…
- Injuries, bruises, or burns consistent with abuse
- Degradation of personal care
- Physical exhaustion
Call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 if you suspect someone is being trafficked. If someone is in immediate danger, call 911 to contact your local emergency services.
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