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Welcome to 3Strands Global Foundation’s Community Training, we are glad you have chosen to learn more about human trafficking, a crime that hides in plain sight.
We believe prevention changes everything. Prevention means a child continues on a path of safety and health. It also means that a survivor of human trafficking is shielded from further exploitation.
Raising awareness of human trafficking is of utmost importance. After completing this training, you will have a better understanding of what the crime looks like, as well as the tools needed to take safe steps to prevent it.
The following videos and other resources will serve as tools for you as you learn. If you have any questions, please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
3SGF Community Training
Why Take the Survey?
Wondering why we are asking you to complete a survey?
Our day-to-day work is rooted in raising awareness and educating the community. Your honest reflection on your own knowledge and understanding of human trafficking before and after interacting with this Community Training allows us to measure the success of our programs and identify areas for improvement.
By filling out these surveys, you are helping us continue to educate other communities in the most effective and impactful way possible.
Thank you for supporting our work!
Please fill in all details
There are no right or wrong answers :)
Q1. I feel confident that I can accurately describe human trafficking as an issue.
Q3. Based on your knowledge of the issue, do you think you have seen signs of human trafficking in your community?
Q2. I know how to contact the Human Trafficking Hotline.
Q4. If you are uncertain about whether a minor is involved in human trafficking, would you report their suspected involvement to child welfare, law enforcement, or the human trafficking hotline?
Q5. Would you argue there is one designated or specific profile of a perpetrator (a buyer or trafficker)?
This video will introduce you to the PROTECT program and explain why prevention changes everything.
Fact vs. Fiction
Human trafficking exists in every country, including the United States. It exists nationwide–in cities, suburbs, and rural towns–and probably in your own community.
Human trafficking does not occur in the United States. It only happens in other countries.
Human trafficking victims can be any age, race, gender, or nationality, including young children, teenagers, women, men, runaways, United States citizens, and foreign-born individuals.
Human trafficking victims only include foreign-born or impoverished individuals.
You may have heard about sex trafficking, but forced labor is also a significant and prevalent type of human trafficking. Victims are found in legitimate and illegitimate labor industries, including sweatshops, massage parlors, agriculture, restaurants, hotels, and domestic services. Note that sex trafficking and forced labor are both forms of human trafficking, involving the exploitation of a person.
All human trafficking is sex trafficking.
According to U.S. federal law, any minor under the age of 18 who is induced to perform commercial sex acts is a victim of human trafficking, regardless of whether he or she is forced or coerced.
Individuals must be forced or coerced into commercial sex acts to be a victim of human trafficking.
Human trafficking is not the same as smuggling. “Trafficking” is exploitation-based and does not require movement across borders. “Smuggling” is movement-based and involves moving a person across a country’s border with that person’s consent, in violation of immigration laws.
Human trafficking and human smuggling are the same
Human trafficking is often a hidden crime. Victims may be afraid to come forward and get help; they may be forced or coerced through threats or violence; they may fear retribution from traffickers, including danger to their families; and they may not be in possession or have control of the identification documents.
All human trafficking victims attempt to seek help when in public.
In this video, you will learn more about what human trafficking is and what it might look like in your communities.
Our Most Vulnerable
Though there is no standard profile of a trafficking victim, several risk factors make certain individuals more susceptible. Reports indicate that traffickers often target children and youth with a history of sexual abuse, low self-esteem, and minimal social support. Runaway and homeless youth—male, female, and transgender—are at an exceptionally high risk of becoming victims, though some trafficked youth continue living at home and attend school. There is also a strong correlation between sexually exploited youth and childhood sexual abuse, chronic maltreatment and neglect, and otherwise unstable home environments. Research estimates that between 33 and 90 percent of victims of commercial child sexual exploitation have experienced these types of abuses. Evidence also suggests that LGBTQ+ youth can be up to five times more likely than heterosexual youth to be victims of trafficking. (Source)
Trauma can be defined as a psychological, emotional response to an event or an experience that is deeply distressing or disturbing. It can also be defined as the exposure to experiences that exceed one’s capacity to cope.
It is important to know that what traumatizes one person might not traumatize the next. Some have undergone trauma and have worked or are working to address it, but others have undergone trauma and are not aware of its impact. Various environments or experiences may be triggering to an individual impacted by trauma, and they many find it difficult to identify their triggers.
When loosely applied, trauma can refer to something upsetting, such as being involved in an accident, having an illness or injury, losing a loved one, or going through a divorce. However, it can also include experiences that are severely damaging, such as rape or torture.
Signs that someone has been impacted by trauma include, but are not limited to, the individual may be anxious and withdrawn, may have difficulty with impulse control, may have impaired short-term memory, may experience times of confusion and disorientation, may appear on-edge, and may frequently daydream.
Previous traumatic experiences are key risk factors for future victimization. Trauma can lead to changes in behavior and the way one reacts. When victims undergo multiple mental, physical, and emotional forms of trauma, this leads to changes in the brain and rewiring of cognitive functions, which is known as poly-victimization. Due to the intense trauma, coercion, manipulation, and isolation that occurs within situations of trafficking, victims also often experience a strong emotional attachment to their trafficker called a trauma bond, also known as Stockholm Syndrome. This bond offers an explanation as to why many being trafficked do not immediately ask for help.
The more we understand trauma, the better our perspective on behaviors or responses from those who may be exploited. This understanding allows us to go from asking, “What’s wrong with you?” to “What happened to you?” This subtle but profound shift focuses on building relationships and removing blame.
In this video, you will learn more about safety online.
How to React
It is essential to actively listen if one discloses that they have been a victim of human trafficking. Ask yourself, “am I showing care and love, or am I quick to cast aside their experiences in response to my feeling uncomfortable?” Establish trust by helping the individual feel comfortable and reassuring them that the abuse is not their fault. Don’t react with shock or anger and do not force the individual to tell you everything. Be supportive and help them understand that they do not have to carry the burden alone. Report to law enforcement as soon as it is possible to do so.
Through this video, you will be equipped with conversational tools surrounding these topics and ultimately learn what you can do to prevent exploitation.
Did you find this training valuable?
At 3SGF, our prevention programs educate students, teachers, parents, caregivers, and other community members on the issue of human trafficking and how to help prevent it, as well as connect survivors and those at-risk of exploitation with direct services and other resources needed to thrive, including sustainable employment.
Select Your Region for State-Specific Mandates and Resources
The Prevalence of Human Trafficking in the US
Human trafficking is a Global issue, and it happens in the United States. As a matter of fact, the United States is one of the top perpetrators of the issue. Exploitation takes place in every state. Some see a low number of reported cases in their state of residency and assume that human trafficking isn’t an issue in that region, however a low number of reported cases does not equal a low number of cases. Human trafficking often goes unreported, and it’s referred to as “the crime that hides in plain sight.”
Reporting Human Trafficking Nationally
National Human Trafficking Hotline:
Text: HELP to BeFree (233733)
P.O. Box 65323 Washington, DC 20035
245 Murray Ln. SW Washington, DC 20528
International Justice Mission:
PO Box 58147 Washington, DC 20037
The International Labour Organization:
4 Route des Morillons, CH-1211 Geneve 22, Switzerland
Federal Bureau of Investigation:
935 Pennsylvania Ave., NW Washington, DC 20535
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children:
699 Prince St. Alexandria, VA 22314