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Lights in the Dark

Learn The Signs

Everyone has the potential to discover a human trafficking situation.

Victims are often hidden right in front of us in places like construction sites, restaurants, elder care centers, nail salons, agricultural fields, and hotels. Knowing the indicators of human trafficking and some follow-up questions will help you act and report it.

The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 and its subsequent reauthorizations define human trafficking as:


a) Sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such acts has not attained 18 years of age; or

b) Labor trafficking is the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.



While not an exhaustive list, there are some key red flags that could alert you to a potential trafficking situation that should be reported.

being a

runaway or homeless



All trafficking of victims under the age of 18 are forms of child abuse.

Please call Child Protective Services at (855) 444-3911

What might trafficking victims need?


  • Crisis intervention

  • Transportation

  • Clothing and food

  • Emergency or transitional housing


  • Protection/safety planning

  • Social service advocacy

  • Medical/mental health services

  • Legal services


  • Employment or education assistance

  • Long term housing

  • Emotional support and counseling

What Can I do?

If you suspect that someone is a victim of trafficking, here are some suggested screening questions:

  • Is anyone forcing you to do anything that you do not want to do?

  • Can you leave your job or situation if you want?

  • Can you come and go as you please?

  • Have you been threatened or physically harmed in any way?

  • Have you ever been deprived of food, water, sleep, or medical care?

  • Do you have to ask permission to eat, sleep, or go to the bathroom?

  • Has anyone threatened your family?

  • Has your identification or documentation been taken away from you?

Source: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Screening Tools for Victims of Human Trafficking

To report a suspected case of human trafficking: call the National Human Trafficking Hotline, a national 24-hour, toll-free number at 1-888-373-7888.


For those victims who want to leave or flee human trafficking: call Sacred Beginnings at (616) 443-6233.


You can also support Home Base, our center for services that helps and encourages victims of all forms of human trafficking.

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