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Human Trafficking Quick Guide

The Human Trafficking Quick Guide is for individuals who are showing signs of human trafficking either sex trafficking or labor trafficking. The victim can be either male or female of any age. Frequently victim is not aware they are a victim of human trafficking other times they may be aware but are afraid to leave. Indicator(s): no freedom in coming and going, works excessively long and/or unusual hours, reacts with unusually fearful or anxious behavior, not in control of their own money or identification documents.

The goal of the Human Trafficking Quick Guide is to identify the key indicators of human trafficking as well as addressing the needs of trafficking victims. These needs can be broken down into four areas:

  • Immediate Assistance (housing, food, medical, safety, language)
  • Mental Health Assistance
  • Income Assistance
  • Legal Assistance


  • There are a lot of myths out there about what it means to be a victim of human trafficking, these can range from the belief that all victims are from a foreign country to the belief that they got themselves into the situation and should have known better. An important part of identifying and helping victims is to debunk some of the myths.  For more information, see Common Myths and Misconceptions, also available in Spanish.
  • Understanding why a victim simply does not “leave their situation” can be a challenging thing to understand for someone on the outside of a situation. However, it is important to note that those who are controlling the victim often put in place multiple barriers that prevent the victim from escaping their situation. For more information, see  Understanding Victims' Mindsets, also available in Spanish

It is important to remember that many victims of human trafficking are not in fact aware that they are victims. They will not openly come out and say “I am being sexually trafficked” that is why it is important to know the indicators of human trafficking so that those who might come in contact with victims will know what to look for. For more information, see Potential Trafficking Indicators, also available in Spanish.

For information on community resources to help victims of trafficking, see the Human Trafficking Resource Tool

Here? Human Trafficking in Our Community - Documentary film on trafficking right here in the Tri-Cities area.

Types of Trafficking Cases in the US       
Human Trafficking Cheat Sheet, Human Trafficking Cheat Sheet (Spanish Version)
Human Trafficking Quick Assessment Tool, Comprehensive Trafficking Assessment