New Friends New Life receives this question often – how can I identify or spot a victim of sex trafficking?
While there are various warning signs, each victim and each situation is different. Anyone, regardless of gender, race, age or socioeconomic status, can be a victim of sex trafficking. Below is a list of indicators that could be present if a person is being sexually trafficked:
• Physical abuse or malnutrition
• Unexplained appearances of expensive gifts
• Withdrawal from friends or family
• Persistent absence from school or job
• Unable to articulate a current address
• High security measures in work or living conditions
• Dialogue that signifies a controlling “boyfriend”
• Tattoos such as bar codes, dollar bills, or a man’s name
If you encounter a person that you suspect is being trafficked, the first thing to remember is to never try to rescue a suspected victim yourself. By trying to intervene, you could make the situation much worse.
If you suspect something is wrong, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888.
If someone is in immediate danger, call 911.