[I will be posting about the sex working situation in Silicon Valley as I gather my thoughts on my own entrepreneurial community. Stay tuned.]
I have been on a road trip across the United States and I’m currently stationed in Nebraska. Along the way, I’ve delved into finding out more about the human trafficking situation that hides across the US. It clearly exists in all parts of the country. A frequent reliable source of information has been cab drivers.They are familiar with most of the seedy brothels and more nefarious activity in any given city. I’ve also spoken to a few truckers here and there who hint at other truckers who may or may not be traffickers themselves. I’m not ready to report on what I have found. Even though I have reliable sources pointing to trafficking victims, I have still yet been able to penetrate actual establishments or uncover actual trafficking activity firsthand. I am working on finding ways to do so along with raising funds. Until I find more concrete evidence to share, I leave you with the following information should you run into anyone you suspect of being a victim of trafficking for sex or illegal labor.
This is not a complete list, but it is ten strong indicators of a trafficking victim according to the US Dept of State website:
- Living with employer
- Poor living conditions
- Multiple people in cramped space
- Inability to speak to individual alone
- Answers appear to be scripted and rehearsed
- Employer is holding identity documents
- Signs of physical abuse
- Submissive or fearful
- Unpaid or paid very little
- Under 18 and in prostitution
Should you run across a trafficking victim, do not attempt any direct rescue. I repeat. DO NOT attempt any direct rescue efforts. You will not only put yourself in possible physical danger, you may also put the trafficking victim in direct harm. Instead report your findings to:
For urgent situations, notify local law enforcement immediately by calling 911. You may also want to alert the National Human Trafficking Resource Center described below so that they can ensure response by law enforcement officials knowledgeable about human trafficking.
1-888-3737-888 National Human Trafficking Resource Center
Call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center, a national 24-hour, toll-free, multilingual anti-trafficking hotline. Call 1-888-3737-888 to report a tip; connect with anti-trafficking services in your area; or request training and technical assistance, general information, or specific anti-trafficking resources. The Center is equipped to handle calls from all regions of the United States from a wide range of callers including, but not limited to: potential trafficking victims, community members, law enforcement, medical professionals, legal professionals, service providers, researchers, students, and policymakers.
1-888-428-7581 U.S. Department of Justice Worker Exploitation Complaint Line
Call the U.S. Department of Justice’s dedicated human trafficking toll-free complaint line at 1-888-428-7581 (weekdays 9 AM – 5 PM EST) to report suspected instances of human trafficking or worker exploitation or contact the FBI field office nearest you .This call is toll-free and offers foreign language translation services in most languages as well as TTY. After business hours, the complaint line has a message service in English, Spanish, Russian, and Mandarin.
– Investigating Rabbit