Simply put, human trafficking is compelled service. It occurs when a person is compelled into service for profit. Labor trafficking and sex trafficking are the two most commonly seen forms of human trafficking in the United states. Labor trafficking can occur in almost any industry; including begging, domestic servitude, industrial fishing, agriculture, construction, hospitality, landscaping, and health & beauty. Sex trafficking can occur in a variety of venues, such as massage parlors, truck stops, brothels, strip clubs, hotels/motels, escort services, through online venues or street based. Human trafficking is fueled by supply and demand. It is important to remember that there is a demand for cheap labor and commercial sex driving this crime.
Supporting survivors of human trafficking is similar to supporting survivors of other forms of interpersonal violence. Key principles include: 1) start by believing, 2) a trauma-informed approach, and 3) recognizing that the survivor is the expert in their situation. There are many reasons a survivor may not choose to seek help including fear of the trafficker, a relationship with the trafficker, shame, or a perceived lack of options. For more about human trafficking, please see: https://humantrafficking.umich.edu. Additional resources for supporting survivors can be found here: https://humantraffickinghotline.org