Because human trafficking can involve force, fraud or coercion, it is not uncommon for victims of human trafficking to be unaware that a figure in their life is actually a trafficker or that what is being done to them is exploitative and illegal.  

If there is a figure in your life that offers to care for you by providing food or shelter, but at times threatens you or another to force you into any work, or if you are not allowed to use a cell phone, contact your family and friends, or be in charge of your own money or identification, consider calling the National Human Trafficking Hotline and speaking to experts about your situation. 

If you believe you may be a victim of human trafficking and need assistance, you can 

          •   Call 911 for immediate response

          •   Call the National Human Trafficking Hotline 1-888-373-7888 or email

          •   Text HELP or INFO to BeFree (233733)

Many people believe that only certain people can become victims of human trafficking, so they do not consider themselves at risk. There are some incorrect stereotypes that suggest that only women or girls can be victims of sex trafficking, that a husband or partner cannot be a trafficker, or that labor trafficking does not happen to citizens in their own country.

Here are some resources about human trafficking victims.

Sex Trafficking in the U.S.: A Closer Look at U.S. Citizen Victims