Human trafficking can, and sadly often does, happen in our community. In Wisconsin, there were over 100 incidents of human trafficking reported to law enforcement between 2014 and 2017. In the United States, there were 10,949 cases of human trafficking reported to the National Human Trafficking Hotline.

Human trafficking can affect anyone, regardless of their education, economic status, gender, age, or their immigration status. Certain populations, like immigrants, are more vulnerable to becoming victims of human trafficking.

Human trafficking can look very different; however, federal law defines it as  “recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, obtaining, patronizing, or soliciting of a person” through “force, fraud, or coercion,” for the purposes of a “commercial sex act” or “involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.”

Below are some ways you can get involved in raising awareness this month:

  • Learn the national and state statistics on human trafficking.
  • Post the National Human Trafficking Hotline (1-888-373-7888) on social media and save it in your phone. Posting the National Human Trafficking Hotline is an easy way to spread the word about important resources. You never know when you will encounter someone who might need these services.
  • Support local organizations who support survivors of human trafficking: UMOS Look Beneath the Surface, The Women’s Center, Sojourner Family Peace Center, and End Abuse Wisconsin. You can donate your time and/or resources.