January is National Human Trafficking Prevention Month. U.S. law defines human trafficking as the use of force, fraud, or coercion to compel a person into commercial sex acts or labor against their will.
Victims may be coerced or forced to participate if a trafficker has taken their personal belongings and legal documents or has threatened the victim and/or their family. A victim may be confused or not know how to get around because traffickers often relocate to avoid detection.
Just like intimate partner and sexual violence, human trafficking is about power and control.
Just like intimate partner and sexual violence, human trafficking is an insidious crime that is about power and control. It involves isolating and gaslighting victims. Having little autonomy in their situation is an indication someone may need help.
Traffickers can capitalize on the human need for belonging.
Adults and children alike can be victims of human trafficking. Younger victims may be chronic runaways, trying to escape abuse at home, or looking for someone to care about them. Traffickers can capitalize on the human need for belonging and coerce victims into trafficking with promises to provide for their physical, emotional, and/or psychological well-being.
How can you help survivors?
The public is often skeptical of survivors’ experiences, so you can help first by believing a survivor when they share their experiences. Next, you can help survivors create a safety plan, including finding a place to stay and determining transportation to get there. You can also help survivors gain access to medical care, if needed. Finally, it is critically important to connect survivors to resources.
The Center for Women and Families works 24/7 to help end human trafficking.
The Center for Women and Families provides several supportive services to survivors of human trafficking, such as legal advocacy, residential and transitional housing, therapy, and resource navigation. The Center’s crisis line is available 24/7 at 1-844-237-2331 to offer support in safety planning and coordinate travel for survivors of human trafficking both to safe housing and a medical facility. Our crisis response staff uses evidence-based tools to screen for red flags and can connect survivors with other community services.
Support our work by making a gift to The Center.
According to data at State.gov, more than 27.6 million people are subjected to human trafficking around the world. And locally, in 2022 alone, The Center served more than 50 survivors of trafficking across our nine counties in Kentucky and Southern Indiana.
Your gift today will help ensure that survivors in our community can continue to receive free therapy, emergency shelter, and other vital services to help them build strength and resiliency as they begin new lives free from violence and coercion.
If you suspect someone is experiencing #humantrafficking or if you need help, please call our 24/7 crisis line at 1-844-237-2331 to receive support and guidance from a trained advocate.