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How to Help a Victim of Human Trafficking

Updated on October 27, 2011

Human Trafficking has become the epidemic affecting everybody across the world. It is a social issue that has disintegrated into health, criminal and other related issues that affect people generally. Anybody, regardless of culture, race, tradition, career, background, and ethnicity could become a victim of human trafficking. It is done in such a subtle way where a person would have already been in a situation as victim of human trafficking before realizing it. Most of the time, victims do not know that they are victims of human trafficking. They often live in fear, as their trafficker constantly threaten them with deportation, police or exposing them to family members and friends that they are prostitutes, if they were victims of sex trafficking.

According to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC), there are three identified ways that a person can become a victim of human trafficking:

1. Force

2. Fraud

3. Coercion

To help a victim of human trafficking, you need to first identify them to make sure they are victims of human trafficking. It is hard to identify, however, the NHTRC has some questions that you could ask to identify. Check these questions out at

Helping victims of human trafficking, however, can jeopardize your own or that of the victim's life if not done as specified by the NHTRC. Victims are usually watched by traffickers and you have to be careful not to alert the trafficker by taking certain steps recommended by the Department of Homeland Security.

The Department of Homeland Security suggested that you take the following seven steps to help a victim of human trafficking:

1. Separate them from whoever they are if they are in a clinic or hospital in case they might be with their trafficker

2. Call the NHTRC at 1-888-373-7888

3. Report to law enforcement

4. Request to assist a child victim through the documentation provided on the health and Human Services’ website at

5. Find a local organization that provides services to victims of human trafficking or other violent crimes

6. Find a local Rescue and Restore Coalition organization in your community, a sub program of the NHTRC

7. Find an organization that has grants to help victims of trafficking through the Department of Justice


Department of Homeland Security:

Books on Human Trafficking


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