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Hotline FAQs

What type of data does the National Human Trafficking Hotline collect? What information is shared outside of the National Human Trafficking Hotline?

The National Human Trafficking Hotline collects two types of data - personally identifying information, such as location of a particular trafficking case and name of an alleged trafficker, and non-personally identifying information such as the city/state of a caller and how he/she learned about the Hotline.

The National Hotline collects personally identifying information where necessary to help a victim or survivor access services and to provide to law enforcement for the purposes of helping victims get to safety and/or investigating potential human trafficking cases. Individuals can get help or report a tip anonymously, and are asked to share only as much information as they are comfortable providing. The National Hotline will never share personally identifying information to any external agency, including law enforcement, service providers, and government agencies without the explicit permission of the caller, unless where required by law. Read more about our confidentiality policy here.

The National Hotline also collects basic, non-personally identifying information about the caller, including his/her city and state, basic demographic information and how he/she heard about the hotline, and about the type of trafficking reported, including the city and state of the trafficking situation, and the basic demographic information of the individuals involved. Using non-personally identifying information, the National Hotline produces public reports with aggregate statistics based on region, trafficking type, and/or demographics to identify trends and patterns that can help inform anti-trafficking prevention and intervention efforts at the local, state, and national levels. The National Hotline will redact or group in an "other" category data we publish regarding unique or unusual cases if we believe it could be used to identify a particular person or situation. Check out our publicly available hotline statistics here.

What type of data is included in your statistical reports?

The national hotline statistics shared on this website are based on aggregated information learned through signals -- phone calls, emails, and online tip reports -- received by the Hotline. 
 
The National Human Trafficking Hotline is committed to sharing the data that is most useful to the public’s understanding of human trafficking in the United States. For this reason, the National Hotline is no longer publicly reporting on “non-substantive” calls or “unrelated” calls as of October 2014. Non-substantive calls include missed calls, calls in which the caller hung up without speaking, or when callers immediately state that they have dialed the wrong number. “Unrelated” calls include prank calls and requests for help or information on themes completely unrelated to human trafficking. 
 
The National Hotline will continue to track internally non-substantive and unrelated calls to gain a full understanding of total call volume. However, the National Hotline has decided to focus its public reports on the data that is most connected to human trafficking. As a result, the total call volume that is now being shared publicly has decreased to 75,000 as of October 2014.

What services does the National Human Trafficking Hotline provide?

The National Human Trafficking Hotline supports victims and survivors, friends and family, law enforcement, service providers, government, professionals, practitioners and advocates in the human trafficking and related fields, community groups, and more through the following services:

  • Crisis assistance to victims of human trafficking
  • Report a human trafficking tip
  • Connect with anti-trafficking services in your area
  • Access general information and resources
  • Get involved in your community

For a full description of the National Hotline's services, click here.

Who can contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline?

The National Human Trafficking Hotline serves the United States and U.S. territories. Anyone in need of assistance and/or information and resources related to the issue of human trafficking can contact the National Hotline and access our services.

We encourage you to contact the hotline if you are a:

  • Victim or survivor of human trafficking
  • Someone who knows a potential victim of trafficking or has information about a potential trafficking case
  • Friend or family member of a trafficking victim or survivor
  • Social or legal service provider
  • Local, state, or federal law enforcement
  • Human trafficking task force or coalition
  • Practitioner or advocate in human trafficking and related fields
  • Frontline professional (e.g. educators, medical professionals)
  • Policymaker or government agency

We encourage you to visit our web site to access training tools and informational resources if you are:

  • A student or part of a student group
  • A community member or part of a community group or coalition
  • Interested in learning more about human trafficking
  • Looking for specialized training tools, resources, or training opportunities
  • Interested in raising awareness, getting involved, or volunteering

Who answers the Hotline?

Hotline calls are answered live, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, by specially trained and experienced English and Spanish-speaking Anti-Trafficking Hotline Advocates. All Anti-Trafficking Hotline Advocates have undergone extensive training and evaluation prior to answering Hotline calls.

What languages are available?

Anti-Trafficking Hotline Advocates speak English and Spanish and can communicate with callers in more than 200 additional languages using a 24-hour tele-interpreting service. Email and online tip report services are currently available in English and Spanish only.

What are the Hotline's hours of operation?

You can call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 from anywhere in the U.S. and U.S. territories, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

You can also submit online tip reports 24/7. Reports are reviewed four times daily and prioritized based on urgency by National Hotline staff and forwarded to specialized law enforcement officials and/or service providers where appropriate.

Emails are reviewed four times daily. Urgent emails are prioritized and will receive an immediate response once reviewed. The National Hotline will respond to non-urgent emails within 1-3 business days, based on the order in which they are received. For immediate assistance, call the Hotline at 1-888-373-7888.

What happens when I call the National Human Trafficking Hotline for help?

Your call will be answered live by a specially trained Anti-Trafficking Hotline Advocate. Spanish speaking Anti-Trafficking Hotline Advocates are available and for all other languages, the Anti-Trafficking Hotline Advocate will conference you in with a tele-interpreting service and continue the call in your preferred language. All communication with the National Human Trafficking Hotline is strictly confidential. You do not need to provide your name or any identifying details about your situation unless you are comfortable doing so.

The Anti-Trafficking Hotline Advocate will ask questions to ensure that you are safe (if applicable) and determine what type of assistance you are looking for and how we can help. Once any immediate safety concerns have been addressed (if applicable), the Anti-Trafficking Hotline Advocate is there to listen and discuss what options are available to you, based on your unique situation and needs.

If you are reporting a tip or seeking services, the Anti-Trafficking Hotline Advocate may conduct a brief assessment of trafficking indicators. For requests for services, the Anti-Trafficking Hotline Advocae will also need to ask you some details about yourself such as your age, gender, nationality and status in the U.S., preferred language, and location. This information will only be used to help us locate appropriate services in your area. The National Hotline serves all victims and survivors of human trafficking regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, or any other factor protected by local, state, or federal law. It is always up to the caller how much information you wish to provide.

The Anti-Trafficking Hotline Advocate may follow up by:

  • providing safety planning recommendations and general emotional support,
  • referring or connecting you directly to local social and/or legal services,
  • making a report to our law enforcement contacts,
  • providing technical assistance and resources.

The Anti-Trafficking Hotline Advocate will not take any action without your consent, except in circumstances where we suspect child abuse or if we have reason to believe there is imminent harm to you or others. If you just want to talk, we are here to listen.

The National Hotline is not a government entity. We are not law enforcement, immigration or an investigative agency. We are not a direct victim service provider. We help individuals access direct services through our extensive referral network and we facilitate reporting of potential human trafficking tips to specialized law enforcement agencies.

Are calls to the National Human Trafficking Hotline confidential? Can I get help or report a tip anonymously?

Yes. All calls are confidential. The National Human Trafficking Hotline will not share your information or confirm that you have called the hotline with anyone, including law enforcement, service providers, or other individuals or agencies, without your consent. The National Hotline will inform appropriate authorities if we suspect child abuse, have reason to believe there is imminent harm to you or others, or if we are required by law.

You can report a tip anonymously. You do not need to provide your name or any identifying details about your situation unless you are comfortable doing so. If you wish to report a tip anonymously, the National Hotline will protect your anonymity when sharing information about a potential trafficking case with appropriate authorities. 

The National Hotline does not record hotline calls. The National Hotline will use caller ID in rare circumstances when it is believed that you are in imminent danger and this information is necessary to ensure your immediate safety.

See our Confidentiality Policy for more details.

How does the National Human Trafficking Hotline respond to cases of potential human trafficking? What happens after I report a tip?

The National Human Trafficking Hotline handles reports of potential labor and sex trafficking situations, involving adults and minors, foreign nationals and US citizens, males, females, and transgender individuals. Tips may be made anonymously. Read our confidentiality policy here.

Each tip is unique and reporting decisions are made on a case-by-case basis to determine the most appropriate next steps that prioritize the safety and consent of individuals involved in the case. Every case received through the Hotline, email, or online tip report is individually reviewed and evaluated by a Supervisor to determine whether it should be passed on to an appropriate local, state, or federal investigative and/or service agency equipped to investigate the tip and/or respond to the needs of the potential victim. 

The nature of the response to a potential trafficking tip depends on the urgency of the situation, the unique needs and wishes of the victim (if known), the specificity of the information provided, the presence of indicators of severe forms of trafficking in persons, relevant state and/or federal laws, and the referral and reporting protocols established between the National Hotline and the local actors in a given area.

The National Hotline is not a law enforcement or an investigative agency. If a case is reported to law enforcement, the National Hotline cannot provide updates on the status of the case. If you receive additional information about the case, contact the National Hotline again and we can send a supplemental report to law enforcement.

Read more about how we prioritize tips and our action steps here.

How are reporting decisions made?

The National Human Trafficking Hotline respects an individual's right to make the decision regarding whether or not to report information about his/her experience to law enforcement or other parties. The National Hotline recognizes that information provided to law enforcement officials can lead to increased investigations and prosecutions, deter future trafficking, and help victims safely exit situations of human trafficking. Whenever possible, the National Hotline endeavors to speak directly with victims to discuss the various reporting and referral options and receive explicit consent to make a report on his/her behalf. Consent from a victim and the safety of any individuals involved are the most important factors the National Hotline considers when weighing whether or not to make a report.

The National Hotline will inform the appropriate authorities of situations that reference the suspected abuse of a minor, potential harm to you or others, or situations where the Hotline is required by law to report.

Read more about how we prioritize tips and our action steps here.

What is the National Human Trafficking Referral Directory?

The National Human Trafficking Referral Directory is a comprehensive, one-of-a-kind directory developed for the purpose of providing access to critical emergency, transitional, and long-term social service referrals for victims and survivors of human trafficking, reporting cases of potential human trafficking to specialized law enforcement and government agencies, and connecting individuals with training and technical assistance and opportunities to get involved in their communities. The directory includes direct service providers that have a designated mandate, program, staff member, and/or funding to provide social and/or legal services to victims of human trafficking, as well as indirect service that have a specific organizational or programmatic focus on the issue of human trafficking. The online directory covers all 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories. Organizations have opted-in to make their organization’s profile publicly searchable via the online directory. More information on the directory, including minimum inclusion criteria, can be found here. If you would like to recommend your organization for inclusion in this directory please email help@humantraffickinghotline.org and a staff member will respond with application instructions.

The National Human Trafficking Referral Directory does not include all available service providers and referrals. The National Hotline has also developed a robust internal directory of service providers, law enforcement, government agencies, task forces, coalitions and other organizations, individuals and collaborative initiatives working to combat human trafficking. National Hotline staff maintain regular contact with the organizations included in the directory to ensure that referrals are up-to-date, confirm referral protocols, stay informed of local anti-trafficking developments, follow up on the outcomes of referrals, and address any issues/questions that may arise. The internal directory contains more than 3,000 unique records and is accessible only to Hotline staff for the purposes of coordinating victim service referrals across a variety of fields, and making reports of potential human trafficking to specialized law enforcement and government agencies. 

If you can’t find what you are looking for, do not see a particular organization listed, or want direct personal assistance, please call us 24/7 at 1-888-373-7888.

I am a service provider, how do I add my organization to the National Human Trafficking Referral Directory or update my record?

If you wish to be considered for inclusion in the directory, please review the full guidelines and expectations here. If you meet the minimum inclusion criteria, you can submit your application here. Organizations can opt out of the public version of the directory if they do not wish to be accessible via the National Hotline's web portal. Please allow up to 4 weeks for a response.

If you have any changes to your organization's record, please let us know as soon as possible to ensure that we are consistently providing the most up-to-date referral information. To update your organization's record in our Directory, send an email to help@humantraffickinghotline.org.

Do you accept international calls/tips?

The National Human Trafficking Hotline is a national anti-trafficking hotline and resource center serving individuals who are seeking assistance or reporting a case in or involving the U.S. and U.S. territories. Requests received by the National Hotline for anti-trafficking services outside of the U.S. and tips involving human trafficking occurring outside of the U.S. may be referred to Polaris' Global Hotlines Program or another agency for response.

Who operates the National Human Trafficking Hotline?

The National Human Trafficking Hotline is operated by Polaris, a non-profit, non-governmental organization that is a leader in the global fight to eradicate modern slavery and restore freedom to survivors of human trafficking. Polaris began operation of the National Hotline on December 7, 2007. Learn more at www.polarisproject.org.

Who funds the National Human Trafficking Hotline?

Funding and support to operate the National Human Trafficking Hotline is currently provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and other private donors and supporters.