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WARNING
SIGNS

SEX TRAFFICKING

Pay special attention to any person, especially a child, who is…

  • Unusually fearful, anxious, or submissive, or showing signs of physical abuse.

  • Monitored, controlled, or guarded by someone else at all times, or who is prohibited from interacting with others.

  • Unaware of what city they are in or unable to explain the purpose of their stay.

  • Not in control of their own money or documents.

  • A child in a suspicious circumstance, such as being alone at a hotel.

PHYSICAL APPEARANCE

  • Has injuries or other signs of abuse and is reluctant to explain them.

  • Appears malnourished.

  • Branded or marked with a tattoo, such as a man’s name, symbol of money, or a barcode.

  • Dressed in a provocative manner or in the same clothes, regardless of weather or circumstance.

POSSESSIONS

  • Has very few personal possessions.

  • Has an unexplained, sudden increase in money, clothing, or possessions like jewelry without explanation.

  • Doesn’t carry identification.

  • Has a number of hotel keys or key cards.

BEHAVIOR

  • Claims to be an adult, though their appearance suggests adolescence.

  • Seems to move frequently from place to place.

  • Talks about an older boyfriend or sex with an older man.

  • Has inconsistencies in their story.

  • Claims to be visiting, and can’t state what city they’re in or for how long.

  • Isn’t able to speak for themself.

  • Has sexually explicit profiles on social networking sites.

  • Is not enrolled in school or is consistently absent.

  • Seems to be withdrawn, depressed, or “checked out.”

LACK OF CONTROL

  • Accompanied by someone who seems to control their every move.

  • Seems scripted in the way they speak.

  • Doesn’t have control over their own money.

  • Can’t come and go from place to place on their own.

  • Not in control of their identification or travel documents

LABOR TRAFFICKING

A victim of labor trafficking may be…

  • Not free to leave.

  • Not in control of their own identification, money, or communication devices.

  • Unpaid, paid very little or paid through tips only.

  • Work excessively long or unusual hours.

  • Owe a large debt to their employer. 

  • Recruited through false promises concerning the nature and conditions of the work.

  • Lack general knowledge of the area.

  • Subject to unusal security measures, such as locks outside of their doors.

  • Fearful of authority figures.

  • Showing signs of restraint or abuse.

  • In possession of few or no personal items.

  • Not allowed to speak for themselves. 

  • Controlled by their employer in a variety of ways, from transportation to food and housing.

  • Lacking healthcare or not reporting injuries at work.

QUESTIONS TO ASK

Do you suspect someone may be a victim of human trafficking? Here are some helpful questions to consider, if you have the chance to ask.

WHO ARE YOU?

  • Do you have your ID? 

  • Are you married or do you have children?  If so, where are they?

WHO DO YOU WORK FOR?

  • Do you know their name? 

  • Who pays for your tools, vehicles, bed, food? 

DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOU ARE?

  • State, City, building, business? 

  • Does your family know where you are? 

HOW DID YOU GET HERE?

  • What type of transportation did you take? 

  • What vehicle were you transported in? 

  • Who brought you here? 

WHERE DO YOU LIVE?

  • Do you live on premises? 

  • Do you pay rent? 

  • How long have you lived there? 

  • How often do you move? 

  • Do you have a key to your apartment/house? 

  • Does your employer provide the housing? 

ARE YOU LEGALLY ABLE TO WORK HERE?

  • How old are you? 

  • Do you have a professional license? 

HOW ARE YOU PAID?

  • Do you receive a paycheck that you get to keep? 

  • Are you paid only through tips? 

WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF YOU LEFT?

  • Do you have access to a phone? 

  • Do you have access to a computer? 

  • Are you able to receive mail? 

  • Is there someone who monitors your movements? 

  • Do you have a key to your home? 

DO YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW NEED HELP?
CONTACT THE TENNESSEE HUMAN TRAFFICKING HOTLINE AT 1-855-55-TNHTH.

CLICK HERE TO REPORT A TRAFFICKING TIP