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Labor Trafficking Story | Domestic Work

September, 2014

Dorothy came to the U.S. from South America to work as a nanny for a wealthy family. After working for a few months, Dorothy called the National Human Trafficking Hotline to talk about her employers.  She told the hotline that she did not have control of her documents, had only left her employers' home a handful of times in the last few months, and did not interact with anyone other than her employers. Dorothy's employers had also convinced her that the wages and hours listed on her contract were just a formality and it was acceptable for her to be working around the clock and making nearly a third of what she was promised in her contract. The National Hotline offered to connect Dorothy with a service provider and with trusted law enforcement contacts if she was interested in leaving.

Dorothy was hesitant because she needed the money from her job to support family members in her home country, and she was afraid to leave because she could not speak English well and was unfamiliar with U.S. laws and customs. Over three months, Dorothy called the hotline several times.  While she was not happy with her situation and believed she was being exploited, she did not want to get her employers in trouble because she also felt that they had treated her well.  The National Hotline continued to provide Dorothy with support and options and made sure she knew that whenever she was ready to take the next step, the hotline would be there to assist.  

One night Dorothy called the hotline and said she was ready, and wanted to leave.  The National Hotline facilitated an extraction with law enforcement and connected Dorothy with a victim advocate and a case manager who were able to assist her in reporting her situation and provide her with secure shelter and other services.