Indicators of Human Trafficking

The majority of trafficking victims will not always self-identify as being trafficked, so it is important to be aware of the red flags associated with possible victimization. Some potential flags may be:

  • Someone is controlling/supervising or looking over what they do
  • They are never alone and/or always has someone translating or answering questions on their behalf
  • Their communication is being restricted or monitored
  • They do not have access to their personal documentations, identification or money
  • They seem anxious, fearful or paranoid, they avoid eye contact
  • They wear clothing that is typically worn during sexual activities
  • They have unexplained bruises, cuts or other signs of physical abuse
  • They use caution when answering questions about personal information
  • They appear to be in a relationship with someone who is controlling
  • They are afraid of receiving help from outside agencies or law enforcement
  • They use terms such as “the life”, “the strip”, “mouthpiece”, “quota” and may refer to their boyfriend as “daddy”.
  • They are hesitant or refuse to explain tattoos

All of these signs may or may not be indicators of someone who has or is being trafficked, however it may indicate that further assessment may be necessary to identify a potential human trafficking situation. If you are unsure, please contact either The National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 888.373.7388 or Valley Crisis Center at 209.725.7900 or 209.722.4357 for more information and assistance.