Dear Friends,

We are excited to announce that the National Human Trafficking Hotline has added 24/7 SMS texting and online chat services in both English and Spanish!

Previously, human trafficking survivors and people reporting tips could call, email, or use a webform to access the Hotline. Around-the-clock texting and chat capabilities provide additional discreet avenues for survivors to get connected to the National Hotline’s extensive network of support throughout the United States.

Modernizing the National Hotline by adding these services is a critical step because it allows survivors to reach out to us through the mode of communication they are most comfortable with. This is especially crucial for young people experiencing trafficking, who are often more accustomed to texting and chatting than speaking over the phone. These technologies also offer a safer way for victims and survivors to get connected with our trained Hotline Advocates, especially in situations when their traffickers are nearby.

The National Hotline is operated by Polaris and funded through a grant from the Office on Trafficking in Persons, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

As you may already be aware, Polaris launched an independent SMS service in March 2013 called the BeFree Textline (233733). This textline provided similar capabilities to the National Hotline, but was only available 8 hours a day based on available funding. The same BeFree SMS number (233733) will now be integrated into the National Hotline, 24 hours a day, seven days a week—and can now handle communication in Spanish. Online chatting, is a completely new service and will be accessible from www.humantraffickinghotline.org.

We’ve been testing these services over the last month, and they’re already available for people to use. As our trusted partners in the anti-human trafficking field, we wanted to let you know of this change. If you are creating any materials that advertise the National Hotline number, we encourage you to include information about the new texting and chat services. We are in the process of updating our materials available on the National Hotline’s website.

If you have any questions about these new services or materials you intend to produce, please respond to this email.

Thank you for your continued partnership and support,

Caroline Diemar
Director
National Human Trafficking Hotline

Missing Children, State Care, and Child Sex Trafficking: Engaging the Judiciary in Building a Collaborative Response

This technical assistance brief is a publication of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges and National Center for Missing & Exploited Children®. Special thanks to Melissa Snow, M.A., Child Sex Trafficking Program Specialist, National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, and Mimari Hall, M.A., for developing this technical assistance brief. Additional thanks to Maureen Sheeran, Chief Program Officer, and Sarah Smith, J.D., Senior Staff Attorney of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges for their thorough review as well as Staca Shehan, Director, Case Analysis Division, and Yiota Souras, Senior Vice President, General Counsel, for the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.

Reproduction of this publication for noncommercial education and information purposes is encouraged. Reproduction of any part of this publication must include the copyright notice and attribution:
Missing Children, State Care, and Child Sex Trafficking: Engaging the Judiciary in Building a Collaborative Response. Technical assistance brief. National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, Alexandria, Virginia, and National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, Reno, Nevada, 2015. Copyright © 2015 National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. All rights reserved.

Published in Judges

Polaris released the 2016 data from the National Human Trafficking Hotline and Polaris's BeFree Textline. In 2016, 8,042 cases of human trafficking were reported to the National Hotline and Polaris. Since 2007, 33,680 trafficking cases have been reported through the National Hotline and Polaris's BeFree Textline, comprising the largest available dataset on human trafficking in the U.S.

Download a summary of the National Human Trafficking Hotline and BeFree statistics here.

Reports of human trafficking to the National Hotline and BeFree Textline jumped by 35% in the last year -- an increase that many of you likely felt as you found shelter, investigated cases, provided legal services, or gave local support to thousands of victims across the country. Polaris has been especially encouraged by the fact that more victims and survivors are reaching out directly to the hotlines than ever. In 2016, 24% more survivors contacted the National Human Trafficking Hotline and BeFree Textline for help than in 2015, meaning that more survivors know that we can effectively identify their needs and connect them to you to receive the support they need.

Poloaris is releasing more detailed data about victims than in years past, such as their race and ethnicity. The data also spotlight factors that may have placed these victims at risk, as well as the variety of tactics used to recruit and trap them in a trafficking situation. The 2016 data better illuminate how survivors were most often recruited for sex trafficking (through intimate partners, family members, and those posing as a benefactor) and labor trafficking (through fraudulent job offers and false promises). Additionally, Polaris has stated they are gaining a better understanding of the different ways that victims access the outside world, which helps pinpoint systems where victims could find the support they need to leave their traffickers.

Download the Summary Sheet here. Or check out the updated National Human Trafficking Hotline statistics online, including state-based information, at www.humantraffickinghotline.org/statistics.

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