January is Human Trafficking Prevention Month, a presidentially-designated observance designed to educate the public about the role they can play in preventing and responding to human trafficking. Human trafficking occurs when a trafficker uses force, fraud or coercion to control another person for the purpose of engaging in commercial sex acts or soliciting labor or services against his/her will. Force, fraud, or coercion need not be present if the individual engaging in commercial sex is under 18 years of age.
The National Human Trafficking Hotline connects people at risk for or who have experienced human trafficking to critical support services that help them stay safe. People can connect with a trained advocate for support, safety planning, crisis intervention, and urgent and nonurgent referrals. The confidential toll-free phone, text line, and online chat are available from anywhere in the United States, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Help is available in English, Spanish, and in more than 200 additional languages through an on-call interpreter.
Have more questions? Visit the Hotline’s website to learn more about human trafficking, view hotline statistics, and get tips on how to build a safety plan.
Other Trafficking Resources:
The Salvation Army - STOP IT Program
24/7 Referral Line
Legal Aid Society of Metropolitan Family Services
Intake hours: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Cook County Sheriff's Office - Public Policy
24/7 referral line: (312) 718-4451