How can I identify a victim of sex trafficking?

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.