Paula contacted the National Human Trafficking Hotline over a year after escaping her trafficking situation with the intention of reporting her trafficker, Justin. Paula had been in a relationship with Justin for a few months before he became controlling and started isolating her from her friends and family. Eventually, Justin took control of all of Paula’s belongings, including her driver’s license, phone, computer, and her car, then forced Paula to go on dates with other men and engage in commercial sex. Paula reported that Justin frequently used physical violence, threats, and verbal and emotional abuse as a way to keep her in the situation.
After enduring her abusive situation for several years, Paula was eventually able to escape from Justin with the help of some of her friends and family. Paula informed the National Hotline that she had attempted to report Justin and her trafficking situation to the local police in her town, however they did not understand the trafficking elements in her situation and thus her attempt to report was unsuccessful. After speaking with Paula, the National Hotline was able to report her situation to trusted law enforcement contacts trained on human trafficking. Additionally, because reporting the situation could be re-traumatizing for Paula, the National Hotline provided her with referrals to mental health and case management service providers so she could receive the support she needed.