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February 9th, 2018

This is How America has United to Fight Sex Trafficking

Although our communities are becoming more and more susceptible to the sexual exploitation and trafficking of children, we also have come a long way in fighting the issue here in America. There are people all over the nation uniting to fight the exploitation of children.

The National Human Trafficking Hotline is equipped with a network of resources for human trafficking victims. Their network consists of over 3,200 contacts including anti-trafficking organizations, legal service providers, shelters, coalitions, task forces, law enforcement, and social service agencies serving human trafficking victims. There are resources available in every state. There is also a referral directory on the National Human Trafficking Hotline website with over five hundred phone numbers and information.

To provide the best access these resources, the National Human Trafficking Hotline has recently added 24/7 SMS texting and online chat services in English and Spanish. Previously, 24/7 live help was only available by calling the hotline. This new addition will allow people to contact the hotline in the form of communication that is the safest and most comfortable for them.

Screenshot from humantraffickinghotline.org

In addition, community members are becoming increasingly important in spreading awareness and reporting tips. The number one type of callers that the National Human Trafficking Hotline receives are community members. Community members are actively observing their surroundings and reporting the signs or tips they see. It is important for community members to aware of the signs of trafficking.

Most of the callers found the hotline through referrals from those around them or anti-trafficking organizations. Keeping the hotline number in your phone (1-888-373-7888) and posting it in public places are just some ways to get it out there, potentially in the hands of those who need it. In-N-Out is a great example of this, adding the hotline number to the side of their semi-trucks.

Once survivors are rescued, rehabilitation is a vital step to help them to heal and stay safe. Many often wonder why there aren’t a lot of “homes” or “beds” available to human trafficking survivors here in the United States.

This is because the United States has taken an multilevel approach to supporting survivors of human trafficking. There are safe homes and group aftercare homes that are specifically designed to the healing process of boys and girls that have been through human trafficking. There are also lots of incredible community based programs that provide support to survivors.
Screenshot of the Referral Directory on humantraffickinghotline.org
The United States has also replaced orphanages with the foster care system. Although it is not perfect, the foster care system has provided shelter and help for so many children. Over 400,000 children were in foster care homes in 2016, and that number continues to increase.  For those who have been through more severe trauma, such as human trafficking, some states offer “Therapeutic Foster Care”. Guardians and families are trained more specifically on how to address the psychological and emotional needs of these children.

The anti-trafficking organizations and aftercare support systems across the United States fight every day to combat sex trafficking. The fact that the evil of child trafficking exists cannot stop us from having hope that we can make a difference in the fight. We are grateful for the organizations and law enforcement agencies that we partner with here in the United States to fight trafficking on our own soil. We are inspired by the growth of the movement against trafficking in the United States and across the world, and we invite you to join the fight.


What can YOU Do?

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It is important to be aware that trafficking is happening in our own backyards.

Learn more by reading “This is What Trafficking Looks Like in America” here.

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