National Human Trafficking Hotline Expands to Text, Chat Services
February 7, 2018—The National Human Trafficking Hotline (1-888-373-7888) announced today that it has expanded the modes of communication survivors can use to reach out and get connected to help to include 24/7 SMS texting and online chat services in both English and Spanish. This expansion provides additional, discreet ways for survivors to get connected to support through as many modes of communication as possible. Previously, communication from survivors and people reporting suspected tips was limited to phone calls, emails, and webforms, as well as limited hours for texting through a separate service provided by the Hotline’s operator, Polaris.
The number of human trafficking cases reported to the National Hotline has increased significantly every year since 2007. More than 7,600 cases were reported in 2016, and 2017 is projected to surpass that number by 10 to 20 percent. More survivors than ever are also reaching out to access services. Polaris will be releasing data in early March on the cases reported to the National Hotline across the entirety of 2017.
Polaris launched an independent SMS service, the BeFree Textline (233733), in March 2013 that provided similar capabilities the National Human Trafficking Hotline offered through the phone, but was limited to certain periods of the day and only in English. As part of this change, the BeFree shortcode is now fully integrated into the National Hotline. Online chat, which is accessible from www.humantraffickinghotline.org, is a completely new service. Callers can still access the Hotline via the phone (including in more than 200 languages through the use of a secure translation service), email, and webform.
The NHTRC is changing its name!
November 15, 2016 – We are excited to announce that the National Human Trafficking Resource Center is changing its name. Starting today, we will become the National Human Trafficking Hotline. We are updating our website, email address, and outreach materials to reflect this new change. The phone number - 1-888-373-7888 - will stay the same.
If you are currently working on materials for Human Trafficking Awareness Month or have any current print or digital materials that promote the hotline or link to our website, please update your website links and the email address with the information below. You may also request a logo for your materials, by sending an email to email@example.com.
While our name is changing, the National Human Trafficking Hotline will still serve as the same confidential, multilingual hotline that provides survivors of human trafficking with vital support and a variety of options to get help and stay safe. We will also continue to be a source of actionable tips for law enforcement and expertise for the anti-trafficking community.
We welcome our newest partner, the National Human Trafficking Training and Technical Assistance Center (NHTTAC), who will serve as the primary source of training and technical assistance from a public health perspective for the anti-trafficking field. Over the coming months, we will collaborate with NHTTAC to transition the hotline’s training and technical assistance programing to NHTTAC. In the interim, please visit www.humantraffickinghotline.org and stay tuned for more details in January about the expanded training and technical assistance offerings provided through NHTTAC.
For almost ten years, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has made it possible for the National Human Trafficking Hotline to become a nerve center that unites local efforts into a national movement that helps survivors restore their freedom and works towards eradicating human trafficking. With your help, Hotline staff have answered more than 100,000 calls, identified more than 30,000 cases of human trafficking across the United States, and provided more than 8,000 tips to federal, state and local law enforcement.
Thank you for being a key partner in this movement. We look forward to continuing our work together.