Frequently Asked Questions
Use this page to see commonly asked questions about human trafficking. If you are in immediate danger, call 911.
What is Human Trafficking?
Human Trafficking is defined as forcing, fooling, or frightening someone into
performing labor or sex acts for profit.
What if I’m not sure if I’m a victim, can I still call?
Anyone in need of assistance and/or information and resources related to the issue of human trafficking can contact the National Hotline and access our services.
We encourage you to contact the hotline if you are a:
- Victim or survivor of human trafficking
- Someone who knows a potential victim of trafficking or has information about a potential trafficking case
- Friend or family member of a trafficking victim or survivor
- Social or legal service provider
- Local, state, or federal law enforcement
- Human trafficking task force or coalition
- Practitioner or advocate in human trafficking and related fields
- Frontline professional (e.g. educators, medical professionals)
- Policymaker or government agency
We encourage you to visit our web site to access training tools and informational resources if you are:
- A student or part of a student group
- A community member or part of a community group or coalition
- Interested in learning more about human trafficking
- Looking for specialized training tools, resources, or training opportunities
- Interested in raising awareness, getting involved, or volunteering
How can I get help?
The National Human Trafficking Hotline is a national, anti-trafficking hotline and resource center serving victims and survivors of human trafficking and the anti-trafficking community in the United States. The toll-free hotline is answered live 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Callers can speak with the Hotline in English or Spanish, or in more than 200 additional languages using a 24-hour tele-interpreting service. When you call the Hotline at 1-888-373-7888, you can expect a specially trained and experienced Anti-Trafficking Hotline Advocate who will speak with you about your needs, your options, and the resources we have available to help. The National Hotline is operated by Polaris.
You may also use the BeFree Textline by texting BeFree (233733). The BeFree Textline offers confidential crisis assistance and support, referrals, tip reporting, and general information about human trafficking through SMS text message. Textline advocates are available to respond Monday-Sunday from 3-11pm EST. All HELP texts will first receive an auto response immediately letting you know that you have reached the BeFree Textline and advising you to call 911 if you are in immediate danger. You will then receive a response from a textline advocate who will check in on your safety. Once we know it’s safe to text, the textline advocate will ask you some questions in order to determine how we can help.
Texts are answered by specially trained advocates who are here to listen and discuss options with you. It’s up to you how much information you wish to provide and what next steps you want to take. You can always let the textline advocate know if you would like to skip a question. You can choose to end the conversation at any time and we will not text you again until you reach out to us first.
What kind of help can you offer me?
Anti-Trafficking Hotline Advocates provide assistance to victims in crisis through safety planning, emotional support and/or immediate connections to emergency services through our network of trained service provider and law enforcement partners. The National Hotline supports a victim’s right to choose what next steps to take in a crisis, including whether or not to access services or report information about his/her experience to law enforcement. Anti-Trafficking Hotline Advocates will work with the caller to explore available options and the National Hotline will not take action without the consent of the caller, except in circumstances where we suspect child abuse or if we have reason to believe there is imminent harm to the caller or others.
The National Hotline also takes tips about potential situations involving all forms of sex and labor trafficking and facilitates reporting to specialized human trafficking task forces, federal authorities, local law enforcement, and service providers throughout the country. We are not a law enforcement or investigative agency.
How will my identity be protected?
All calls are confidential. The National Human Trafficking Hotline will not share your information or confirm that you have called the hotline with anyone, including law enforcement, service providers, or other individuals or agencies, without your consent. The National Hotline will inform appropriate authorities if we suspect child abuse, have reason to believe there is imminent harm to you or others, or if we are required by law.
You can report a tip anonymously. You do not need to provide your name or any identifying details about your situation unless you are comfortable doing so. If you wish to report a tip anonymously, the National Hotline will protect your anonymity when sharing information about a potential trafficking case with appropriate authorities.
The National Hotline does not record hotline calls. The National Hotline will use caller ID in rare circumstances when it is believed that you are in imminent danger and this information is necessary to ensure your immediate safety.
See our Confidentiality Policy for more details.
I’m under 18, what do I do?
Call the National Hotline. The Hotline supports people under the age of 18 who are being forced to work or having sex with others for money, food, housing, or anything else of value. They are not law enforcement and will help you think through how to get help in the safest way which may be getting you connected to an organization that will help you get on your feed, to a drop-in center or think through a safety plan. If you are in imminent danger, they may connect with law enforcement but will tell you before doing so or connect you with an advocate in your area who may work with law enforcement with you. The advocates on the phone may ask you questions to ensure you are safe. They are there to listen.
I am not a US Citizen, can I still get help?
Anyone in need of assistance and/or information and resources related to the issue of human trafficking can contact the National Hotline and access our services. The Hotline provides assistance to both US Citizens and Foreign Nationals. The National Hotline assists undocumented immigrants as well.
When I call or text the number, who responds?
Hotline calls are answered live, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, by specially trained and experienced English and Spanish-speaking Anti-Trafficking Hotline Advocates. All Anti-Trafficking Hotline Advocates have undergone extensive training and evaluation prior to answering Hotline calls. We are not a government entity, law enforcement, or immigration.