Human trafficking is the exploitation of a person for sex, forced labor, or domestic servitude.
Any person under the age of 18 involved in a commercial sex act is considered a victim of human trafficking.
It is happening to women, children, and men of any age and ethnicity. According to the National Human Trafficking Hotline there were 1,352 calls to the hotline, and 375 reported cases in 2016 alone. Sex trafficking was the top reported type of trafficking. The top caller type to the hotline were community members, so please do not hesitate to call the hotline,1-888-373-7888 if you suspect someone has fallen victim to human trafficking. We will share some signs to recognize below, you could save a life.
How does it happen?
Traffickers prey on people who are lonely, promising to love them and making them feel like no one else will ever love them. They often force their victims to do drugs, causing addiction and making the victim dependent on them. In some cases, traffickers threaten to harm the victim or their family, making the victim believe that their only option for safety is to do what the trafficker tells them to do. View the survivor story below to hear a young woman’s experience.
It is not only men who become traffickers. Cases across all of Ohio and the United States involve women befriending another person and convincing them to sell their body through promises of wealth, popularity, and friendship. Some victims may become traffickers because they are trained into believing that it is the only life for them.
Become part of the solution by helping to spread awareness and shutting down this big illegal business.
Know the signs of human trafficking
- Sleeping bags or any indicator that people may be working and sleeping in the establishment
- Conversation or answers to questions that seem scripted
- Young workers who seem fearful
- Older male hotel guests who in check in with multiple young women
- Young women with a tattoo of a mans name, slang term, or “daddy” located on their neck, legs or shoulders.
- Barbed wire fences or bars on windows that indicate attempt to keep people inside.
Department of Homeland Security. (n.d.). Indicators of Human Trafficking. Retrieved from: https://www.dhs.gov/blue-campaign/indicators-human-trafficking
National Human Trafficking Hotline. (n.d.) Myths & Misconceptions. Retrieved from: https://humantraffickinghotline.org/what-human-trafficking/myths-misconceptions