Though National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month is over for another year, the battle against trafficking has just begun. Trafficking takes many forms, including domestic servitude, forced labor and the sex trade.
It also affects people of all backgrounds. Victims of human trafficking can be young or old, male or female, of any ethnicity -- it could happen to anyone.
In fact, it’s the fastest growing crime in the world, and victims don’t always stand out from a crowd. That is why DART is urging its riders to spot the signs -- and end the exploitation.
Here are some clues that a person could be a victim of human trafficking:
- Shows signs of physical, psychological or sexual abuse
- Acts fearful, anxious, depressed or submissive
- Appears deprived of food, water, sleep, medical care or other basic needs
- Always accompanied by a controlling individual
- Seems to be coached on what to say or how to act
- Lacks identification or documentation
- Has little or no possessions
- Avoids eye contact
- Uses a prepaid cell phone or carries an excessive amount of cash
- Seems unwilling to give their address or other personal information
DART doesn’t want to see another life stolen, so it is important to learn and recognize these signs. You could be the difference-maker for a person trapped in modern-day slavery.
To report suspected trafficking, call 1-866-347-2423.
For victim support, call 1-888-373-7888 or text INFO or HELP to BeFREE (233733).