Trafficked persons are not always hidden in dark rooms, away from the public eye. They are transported from one place to another. They use public transportation. Since they suffer injury and harm, they require medical care at hospitals and domestic violence shelters. Since they seek relationships with people of the same religious, ethnic and cultural groups, they attend places of worship and go to community centers.
To be able to assist, we need to know what to look for. A combination of any of the following indicators could signal the presence of suspicious activity and possible human trafficking.
A trafficked person may…
- Have injuries or signs of physical abuse.
- Appear malnourished.
- Seem disoriented and not know where her or she is.
- Have few personal possessions and always wear the same clothes regardless of the weather or circumstances.
- Not have identification documents.
- Avoid eye contact and appear hesitant to talk to strangers.
- Be fearful of authority figures, especially law enforcement.
- Rarely be allowed to come and go independently and may be accompanied by someone who controls their every movement.
- Work excessively long hours.