Learn the signs of human trafficking



Reporting your suspicions may save a life

Learn the signs of human trafficking


In 2018, 492 cases of human trafficking were reported in New York State, possibly the tip of an iceberg. Women represented 68.9 percent of this number, while 27.4 percent were under 18. In 73 percent of the cases, prostitution was involved.

The Orange County Safe Homes program distributes flyers explaining the mechanisms of trafficking and signs that suggest a young person is being trafficked. At the end of this article are several ways to offer confidential reports to agencies that can help rescue people from trafficking situations.

Among the influences that prevent victims from leaving their abusers are fear, trauma, drug addiction, threats against families, and a lack of options due to poverty and homelessness.

Some traffickers use more subtle methods of trapping and controlling people, such as isolation, confiscating identification documents, threatening to shame the victim by exposing humiliating circumstances to their family, threatening imprisonment or deportation if the victim contacts authorities, debt bondage, and controlling the victim's money.

Someone may be a victim of sex trafficking if they:

  • Check into hotels/motels with older males and refers to those males as boyfriend or “daddy,” which is often street slang for a pimp
  • Has a history of multiple runaways or homelessness
  • Does not attend school or is frequently absent
  • Suddenly has large amounts of cash
  • Has visible signs of physical abuse, such as bruising, scars, or hearing loss.
  • Shows shame, humiliation, anxiety
  • submissiveness, or disorientation.
  • Appears malnourished, fatigued, or exhausted.
  • Avoids eye contact, social interaction, and authority figures/law enforcement
  • Seems to adhere to scripted or rehearsed responses in social interactions
  • Appears destitute/lacking personal possessions
  • Has poor physical or dental health
  • Has tattoos/branding on the neck and/or lower back.
  • Is not allowed to go into public alone or speak for her/himself.

The presence or absence of any of these indicators is not necessarily proof of human trafficking but may alert you to a potential human trafficking situation. Also see our article, “Human trafficking happens even in upstate New York.”

If you need help or suspect someone of being trafficked contact:

Safe Homes Orange County Confidential 24/7 Crisis Hotline, 845-562-5340

National Human Trafficking Hotline, 888-373-7888

Ulster County Safe Harbor, https://ulstercountyny.gov/social-services/safe-harbour-program



Other articles by HVP News Reporters


  • Training for upper body strength

    A simple workout brings you psychological and health benefits

    Strength training is not just for men and not just for the gym. The article reviews a workout women can do at home to enhance upper body strength. read more »
  • Get wifi all over the house

    How to extend your signal for remote learning or homeschooling

    Dropped calls or garbled voices make online video calls frustrating for at-home workers and students alike. Four tips on how to improve your signal to accommodate the whole family. read more »
  • Harmonious siblings…is there such a thing?

    Mommy blogger suggests eight tips to help your kids stay friends

    Sibling rivalry is often seen as inevitable, but experience has shown that a few guidelines can help maintain harmony in families. read more »
  • Leaf peeping without the hike

    See the colorful fall foliage the easy way

    While you can enjoy the leaves all throughout the Catskills, The Catskill Visitor's Center has taken the guess work out of finding the great spots where the leaf changing scenes are spectacular. read more »
  • Teacher's insider tip for wearing face masks

    Georgia teacher Angie Madden posted a short video on Facebook revealing her $13 find

    Georgia teacher Angie Madden posted a video on Facebook showing her $13 find of a plastic bracket that fits under your mask. It allows you to speak easily and she claims it is comfortable enough to wear all day. read more »
  • How to help kids slow down and tune in

    Mindfulness helps with mental focus

    Even adults who recognize the value of mindfulness have trouble slowing down. It's often harder for kids, but parents can teach them this valuable skill. read more »
  • Know the signs of hard drug use

    Fentanyl deaths have become a health emergency

    While the opioid epidemic has taken a back seat to the coronavirus pandemic, deaths from drug abuse, particularly of fentanyl, have increased since the quarantine began. Parents have a vital role to play in diagnosing and treating drug abuse. read more »
  • All rules went out the window

    Use 2020 to plan your creative venture based on your rules

    2020 is the year when all the rules of business were put on their ear. Peter Shankman, a dad and a public relations specialist, suggests using this time to take the bull by the horns and try the unthinkable. read more »
  • Movement breaks for remote learning

    Kids too restless to focus. Offer these activities to reboot

    No one can stare at a screen for long without needing to move around. Here are ways to refresh your child's attention if computer-based schoolwork is getting them down. read more »
  • How to set up an ergonomic home office

    For hours of sitting at a computer, take steps for comfort

    The pandemic has us all on computers and other electronic devices for more time than ever. Parents and students alike will benefit from an ergonomic set-up. read more »