Stop human traffickers and help survivors find support
This petition had 2,440 supporters
Imagine a young woman who ran away from an abusive home, with no one to turn to. When she met a man who promised to take care of her, she trusted him. But instead of helping her, he abused her and forced her to sell sex. She felt trapped. She wanted a way out, but believed no one could help her—until she found out about the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) hotline and was able to call for help. A trained hotline advocate ensured her safety, presented her with options, and ultimately connected her to a local service provider. Now, she is overcoming her trauma, enrolling in a community college, and beginning the long process of recovery.
In 2015, more than 1,600 survivors of human trafficking reached out to the NHTRC or Polaris’s BeFree Textline to get services and support. But hundreds of thousands more have no idea these lifelines exist and desperately still need help today. And although more than a dozen states post the NHTRC hotline number in public venues where survivors can see them, many still don’t.
Attorneys General play a unique role in responding to and stopping human trafficking in their state. One critical step that can truly make a difference is publicizing the national hotline. And it works: five years ago, after the National Association of Attorney General (NAAG) promoted the hotline through a national initiative, call volume increased by up to 200% in states where the hotline was widely publicized by the state Attorney General’s Office.
Not only does promoting the hotline help more victims find support, it also helps law enforcement arrest more traffickers. Once the NHTRC learns about a case and receives permission from the victim to intervene, they can provide tips to local law enforcement who then arrest and prosecute the traffickers. The NHTRC has sent more than 6,500 tips to local and federal law enforcement. According to an independent study from Northeastern University, “the most important provision to increasing arrests is requiring the National Human Trafficking Hotline number to be posted in public places.”
That’s why we need you to tell your Attorney General to share the NHTRC hotline number in your state. By taking this simple step, states can can stop traffickers from harming more people and help survivors find the services they need.
(Model in photo is used for illustrative purposes only. Credit: Mats Silvan, Getty Images)
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