Add To Cart

Section 4
Resources for Reporting the Suspected
Victims of Human Trafficking

Question 4 | Test | Table of Contents

It is important to remember to never attempt to confront a suspected human trafficker or attempt to rescue a suspected victim, unless you are in law enforcement. This could put the safety of both the confronter/rescuer and the victim at risk. You should call law enforcement directly or call one of the tip lines discussed below (U.S. Department of Homeland Security).

Educators and school personnel, including bus drivers, administrators, counselors, cafeteria workers, etc. should be knowledgeable about the signs of human trafficking, various ways to support disclosure by the victim, and the steps that should be taken in the case that there is a strong suspicion of human trafficking. If a student does show any signs of possible human trafficking, the first step is to always pay attention (U.S. Department of Education, 2015).

The next step that educators and school personnel who are suspicious of a human trafficking incident should take should be to follow the protocol set in place by their school district for responding to these incidents. Schools that do not have any established formal protocols put in place should consider adopting one to help school personnel understand and recognize signs or indicators of human trafficking and follow the correct protocol for responding to human trafficking of students. Educators should contact law enforcement of contact one of the tip lines listed below (U.S. Department of Education, 2014).

Other tip lines that are available to report suspected human traffickers or victims of human trafficking include (U.S. Department of Homeland Security):

  • The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) tip line at 1-866DHS-2-ICE (1-866-347-2423) is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year. The tip line is available to report suspicious criminal activity and is available outside of the United States by calling 802-872-6199.
  • Submit a tip at Highly trained specialists take reports from both the public as well as law enforcement agencies on more than 400 laws that are enforced by ICE HIS, including those laws that are related to human trafficking, and quickly pass on the information to on-duty human trafficking investigators located throughout the nation and around the world.
  • To get help from the National Human Trafficking Hotline (NHTH), call 1-888-373-7888 or text HELP or INFO to BeFree (233733). The NHTH is available to help connect victims with service providers in their area and also provides training, technical assistance, as well as other resources. The NHTH is a national, toll-free hotline that is available to answer calls from anywhere in the United States, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year. The NHTH is not a law enforcement or immigrant authority and is operated by a nongovernmental organization that is funded by the Federal government.

Through the identification of possible victims of human trafficking and by reporting tips of possible human trafficking, you are doing your part to help law enforcement rescue victims, and you might save a life. Law enforcement agencies are able to help victims connect to services such as medical and mental health care as well as shelter, job training, and any legal assistance that they may need in order to restore their freedom and dignity from what they have gone through.

There are steps that you can take to prepare yourself to be ready and have the information you need if you do suspect that someone is a victim of human trafficking or if you suspect someone of being a human trafficker.

You can call the HIS tip listed above to get to know the Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Special Agents and Victim Assistance Specialists that are currently working on human trafficking in your local area and build a relationship with them. You can also find out if there is a Human Trafficking Task Force in your local area by visiting and if there is one in your area, establish a relationship with them. These Task Forces are comprised of federal, state, local, county, and tribal law enforcement and prosecutors.

If you are in law enforcement, you can call the Homeland Security Investigations’, or HSI, field office or Human Trafficking Task Force in your area, if there is one, to work collaboratively on an investigation or to report a tip. HSI is responsible for investigating human trafficking cases and arresting human traffickers. In addition, there may be an organization-specific protocol that you should follow in order to notify your supervisor and engage the proper local authorities (U.S. Department of Homeland Security).

Another way that you can prepare yourself is to become educated, not only for yourself but for your co-workers as well. You can visit to take a general online, interactive training. If you would like additional training, you can always visit to receive training, outreach materials, victim assistance materials, and additional information on how you can help to end human trafficking (U.S. Department of Homeland Security).

Report Trafficking

Reviewed 2023
Peer-Reviewed Journal Article References:
Goff, P. A., Epstein, L. M., & Reddy, K. S. (2013). Crossing the line of legitimacy: The impact of cross-deputization policy on crime reporting. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 19(2), 250–258. 

Posick, C. (2014). Victimization and reporting to the police: The role of negative emotionality. Psychology of Violence, 4(2), 210–223.

Rajaram, S. S., & Tidball, S. (2018). Survivors' voices—Complex needs of sex trafficking survivors in the Midwest. Behavioral Medicine, 44(3), 189–198.

Ramirez, J., Gordon, M., Reissinger, M., Shah, A., Coverdale, J., & Nguyen, P. T. (2020). The importance of maintaining medical professionalism while experiencing vicarious trauma when working with human trafficking victims. Traumatology. Advance online publication.

Wiener, R. L., Berry, M. C., Wertheimer, J., Petty, T., & Martinez, J. (2021). The public’s judgment of sex trafficked women: Blaming the victim? Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 27(3), 529–545.

What are three resources that are available to those who suspect someone of being a victim of human trafficking?
To select and enter your answer go to Test.

Section 5
Table of Contents