How Does Human Trafficking Happen?  

People in trafficking situations almost always know and may even love their traffickers. Traffickers target vulnerable people who have needs that the traffickers can fill. Sometimes they offer material support – a place to live, clothing, or a job opportunity. Other times they offer love, emotional support or a sense of belonging. Kidnapping victims and forcing them into the sex trade through violence is rare.

Who Can Be Trafficked?  

Anyone can be trafficked, but some people are more vulnerable than others. This includes people living in poverty or in unstable housing situations, as well as people with a history of system involvement, trauma or substance use. Vulnerabilities can include lack of a trusted adult or parents who are not emotionally invested in their children.  People of color, immigrants, and people who identify as LGBTQ+ are more likely to be exploited for these vulnerabilities.

Who are the traffickers?

Traffickers come from all genders, races, ethnicities and walks of life.  They may be intimate partners or spouses of the victims, family members, friends, business acquaintances or bosses.

Why don’t people just leave?

In many cases, people in trafficking situations do not see themselves as victims while they are being trafficked. They have been manipulated or “groomed” to believe they are making their own choices.  People in trafficking situations may depend on their traffickers for physical needs like money or shelter. They may face threats against themselves or their families or violence if they complain or try to leave.

How Do I Get More Information About Trafficking?  

Training about Human Trafficking is available through the Indiana Trafficking Victims Assistance Program.  For more information on trainings offered and to request a training:  
What Do I Do if I Suspect Trafficking is Happening?  

If you are in immediate danger and need help now, CALL 911.

If you cannot safely call text 911  
Enter the numbers '911' in the 'TO' Field
Send your exact location, and a brief description of the help you need.

If the victim is under 18 years old- call the Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS) at 1-800-800-5556 and say “I suspect Human Trafficking”.  

You can also call or text the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or text
“HELP” or “INFO” to 233733