What We Do

Warning Signs

There are many different signs that could indicate potential human trafficking victims.  These signs can vary depending on the victim.  Below are some general warning signs:

  • Is fearful, anxious, depressed, submissive, tense, or nervous/paranoid
  • Avoids eye contact
  • Lack of knowledge of whereabouts and/or of what city he/she is in
  • Appears malnourished or in poor health
  • Shows signs of physical and/or sexual abuse, physical restraint, confinement, or torture
  • Shows signs of substance abuse or addiction
  • Does not have control of his/her own identification documents (ID or passport)
  • Is not allowed or able to speak for themselves – someone else does the talking for them
  • Is not free to leave or come and go as he/she wishes
  • Living with employer
  • Poor living conditions
  • Multiple people in a small living space
  • Unpaid or paid very little
  • Answers appear to be scripted or rehearsed
  • Under 18 & in prostitution

There are also school specific warning signs that may indicate a student is a victim of human trafficking.  Below are some school specific signs:

  • Sudden change in attire, behavior, relationships, or possessions (e.g., has expensive items)
  • Misses school on a regular basis and/or has unexplained absences
  • Carrying more than one cell phone
  • Picked up by different people every day after school
  • Falling asleep in class regularly
  • Frequently runs away from home
  • Makes references to frequent travel to other cities or towns
  • Shows signs of drug addiction and/or physical abuse
  • Has coached/rehearsed responses to questions
  • Is uncharacteristically promiscuous and/or makes references to sexual situations that are beyond age-specific norms
  • Has a “boyfriend” or a “girlfriend” who is noticeably older


There are also potential warning signs that could indicate students or minors are being targeted for trafficking.  Minors should be careful of someone who:

… is older than you that is romantically interested in you

… is telling you everything you want to hear

… is pulling you away from friends or family

… wants you to go away with them

… wants to meet you where no one else is around

… wants you to have sexual conversations or send sexual pictures

… is giving you expensive gifts or showing you expensive items & telling you that you can live a similar lifestyle

… is telling you they know of a job where you can get rich, but they’re not willing to disclose details about this job