Screening Tips For Victims of Human Trafficking
Courtesy of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
The following are sample questions health care and other social service providers can ask in screening an individual to determine if he/she is a potential victim of human trafficking. As with domestic violence victims, if you think a person is a victim of trafficking, you do not want to begin by asking directly if the person has been beaten or held against his/her will. Instead, you want to start at the edges of his/her experience. And if possible, you should enlist the help of a staff member who speaks the patient’s language and understands the patient’s culture, keeping in mind that any questioning should be done confidentially.
You should screen interpreters to ensure they do not know the victim or the traffickers and do not otherwise have a conflict of interest. Before you ask the person any sensitive questions, try to get the person alone if they came to you accompanied by someone who could be a trafficker posing as a spouse, other family member or employer. However, when requesting time alone, you should do so in a manner that does not raise suspicions.
If you think you have come in contact with a victim of human trafficking in the Pinellas, Pasco or Hillsborough County area, call the CATF Hotline at (727) 562-4917; other areas contact the Trafficking Information and Referral Hotline at 1-888-373-7888.
How You Can Help – LEARN, LOOK, AND REPORT
These hotlines will help you determine if you have encountered victims of human trafficking, will identify local resources available in your community to help victims, and will help you coordinate with local social service organizations to help protect and serve victims so they can begin the process of restoring their lives.
LEARN, LOOK, AND REPORT
You and your agency can help by learning about human trafficking, its definition, signs and circumstances, looking for the indicators in your community or workplace, and report what you see to law enforcement authorities.
Report suspicious activity in the Tampa Bay area to the task force tip line, at (727) 562-4917.
Nationwide, contact your local or federal law enforcement authorities or call the nationwide toll-free hotline at 1-888-428-7581 (voice and TTY).
Para registrar su queja o obtener ayuda, llame gratis a 1-888-428-7581 (linea directa y de TTY para personas con incapacidad auditiva).
Learning about human trafficking can be as easy as a Google search. Here are some recommended links:
Citizens and civic groups are urged to support the many non-governmental task force agencies who provide direct services to trafficking victims. In addition to funding, there are many other needs including clothing and personal items for victims, job training, volunteer opportunities, and more. Contacts for the major non-governmental service providers to trafficking victims in Tampa Bay include:
Ida Lopez, Affiliate Director
InterCultural Advocacy Institute Hispanic Outreach Center
Sandra Lyth, Director
Gulfcoast Legal Services
Kathlyn Mackovjak, Supervising Immigration Attorney
The Salvation Army/Clearwater Corps
Kip Corriveau, Social Services Director