- Whitney Sumpter
Human Trafficking - When You Spot A Victim (Part 4)
There are many tips on how to avoid being a victim of human trafficking, but if nothing else, make sure you are always paying attention to what is going on around you. Trusting your gut is also important. If you have a feeling that a situation, person, or place is unsafe, do not disregard that feeling. As the saying goes, it is better to be safe than sorry. It is also a good idea to have a safe word with a trusted friend or family member. A safety word can let them know if you are safe and can talk or if you are in an unsafe situation where you cannot talk. Make sure to clarify what should happen if you use your safe word, for example, if the police should be called. If you are going to an unfamiliar place, take a trusted friend with you and use the buddy system. Traffickers may be less likely to target a person if they are with someone or in a group. Even once you have taken these precautions, make sure to not let your guard down.
There are many signs present in victims of human trafficking, but what do you do once you recognize these signs? The first step is to contact law enforcement. While you are doing so, make sure you are being discreet as to not put yourself at risk. Besides 911, you can also call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or text them at 233733. You can also go to the National Human Trafficking Hotline website to chat or anonymously report a tip. Though, it is recommended to call, text, or chat before reporting a tip if the situation is urgent or happened in the past 24 hours. If an interpreter is needed when contacting the National Human Trafficking Hotline, they are available through phone calls only. If the victim(s) are in immediate danger, call 911 as soon as you can. Make sure to remember that victims of human trafficking might not attempt to get help, even if it seems like they have an opportunity. Whether or not they approach you, if you suspect they may be a victim, contact the authorities or the National Human Trafficking Hotline.