“On this World Day against Trafficking in Persons, let us reaffirm our commitment to stop criminals from ruthlessly exploiting people for-profit and to help victims rebuild their lives.” – UN Secretary-General António Guterres

On Thursday, July 30th VIP is celebrating World Day Against Trafficking in Persons. Human trafficking is a crime that affects every country across the globe, including the United States. Polaris, an organization dedicated to helping victims and ending Human Trafficking, reported that over 23,000 victims were identified in the United States in 2018.  Since Human Trafficking is a notoriously underreported crime, this number is sadly only a fraction of the real issue.

In their report from 2018, Polaris discovered that the three most common types of trafficking victims they encountered were sex trafficking (escorts, forced prostitution & pornography), labor trafficking (domestic & agricultural workers), or a combination of both sex and labor trafficking (illicit massage parlors, strip clubs, bars, spas, etc.).

Though it is easy to think of Human Trafficking as an incredibly violent crime, many traffickers use subtle tactics to recruit their victims. Often times, the recruiter is an intimate partner or family member of the victim. It is also common for traffickers to deceive their victims with false promises or job opportunities. Traffickers are known to use several forms of control over their victims including severe isolation or confinement, economic abuse, threats to harm the victim or their family, and/or physical abuse.

Of the 23,078 victims that contacted the National Hotline, 648 were from Pennsylvania. VIP of Wayne and Pike Counties is here to help. Our services are free and confidential for victims of human trafficking, domestic violence, sexual assault, and any other serious crime. If you or someone you know is a victim, call our 24-hour hotline at 570-253-4401 to speak with a trained and dedicated advocate.

Nation Human Trafficking Hotline: 1-888-373-7888

If you suspect that a child is being trafficked or abused, please call CHILDLINE at 1-800-932-0313.