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Recognizing the Signs

Below are some signs that could mean someone is a victim of human trafficking:

Restrictions | Victims work extended hours without the freedom to leave or take breaks.  They have restricted or monitored communications.  They also might not have access to their own documents.

Poor Physical Health | Victims are often denied proper medical care and can show signs of physical abuse and malnourishment.  Teens who are trafficked and still living at home may fall asleep in class often or have rapidly declining health.  

Possessions | Many victims have very few personal belongings or resources. They are often not allowed to handle money directly. On the other hand, younger victims may suddenly have expensive clothes or accessories, or more than one cell phone.

Confusion | Victims may lack basic knowledge of their whereabouts as well as a sense of time. 

Behavior | Victims can be fearful, anxious, and depressed.  They may also avoid direct contact and refuse to answer questions. Often they will show fear of law enforcement. 

Branding | Tattoos can be used by traffickers to brand their victims. It could be the trafficker's name, a barcode, money sign, or something similar.

If you are concerned about someone, please call us at 1.800.770.1650 or text "IOWAHELP" to 20121.  We can talk through some of the potential signs you’ve noticed.  Our services are always free & confidential.