Stop human traffickers and help survivors find support
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)
- State Attorneys General
Human trafficking is happening in all 50 states. As Attorney General, you play a crucial role in the fight against it. I urge you to promote the National Human Trafficking Hotline as one critical step in your state’s anti-human trafficking response. By taking this simple step, states can ensure that more traffickers are arrested and more victims find help.
Since 2007, the hotline has learned of and responded to more than 25,000 cases of human trafficking in the United States. It has provided 6,500 tips to law enforcement. It works with local agencies to help victims receive support, and with law enforcement to ensure that traffickers are arrested. But without public knowledge of the hotline, trafficking in your state will continue to go unnoticed.
The National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline provides a national clearinghouse that leverages the strengths of the existing local response system and connects and supports local efforts. A national, central system allows survivors, law enforcement agents, and service providers to access diverse forms of trafficking-specific assistance across states and jurisdictions. That’s why Attorneys General across the country are working with and promoting the National Human Trafficking Hotline widely in their states.
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. Just last year, Indiana saw a 67% increase in calls in the 30 days after their Attorney General launched a campaign to promote the hotline. And according to a 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.”
I ask you to ensure that everyone in your state is aware of the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline so we can stop traffickers from harming more people and help survivors find the services they need.
Thank you for your consideration.
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