Do you know the signs of human trafficking and where to find support?

Cleveland Rape Crisis Center is a leading provider in trauma-informed care to survivors of sex trafficking and labor trafficking. Our services include:

  • Advocacy, counseling and case management
  • Specialized programming for survivors of human trafficking
  • Human Trafficking Survivor Assessments
  • A 24-hour hotline for survivors and professionals
  • Human Trafficking Drop-in Center with convenient access to comprehensive services and programming


Learn the signs of human trafficking so you can recognize and support survivors.

What is human trafficking?

Human trafficking is the exploitation of a person through force, fraud or coercion. It is a hidden crime and many of us may not even recognize that it’s happening, even if it’s right in front of us.

Two of the most common types include:

  • Sex trafficking is when people are forced or tricked into sex by someone for financial gain.
  • Labor trafficking is when people are forced to work for little to no pay.


Who is impacted by human trafficking?

Teenagers are especially vulnerable, however people of any age, gender, sexual orientation or immigration status are targets for human trafficking.


How can I recognize human trafficking?

  • Appear disconnected from family, friends and other relationships
  • Sudden or dramatic change in behavior
  • Disoriented, confused or show signs of mental or physical abuse
  • Bruises on body
  • Appear to be coached on what to say
  • Lack personal possessions and appear to have unstable living situations

How do traffickers manipulate or control survivors?

  • Traffickers often over-promise opportunities to earn money, food, or even shelter.
  • Traffickers maintain control through physical, psychological or substance abuse.
  • Survivors can be sold by parents, significant others, or friends.
  • Due to a psychological phenomenon known as trauma bonding, survivors may experience positive regard for their trafficker.


How can I help if I think someone I know is being trafficked?

  • Listen without judgement and let them know that you believe them, you care about their safety, and that what’s happening to them is not their fault.
  • Avoid pressuring them to “just leave,” which may be difficult or dangerous. Let them know that help is available.


How can I access support?

  • Call 855-431-7827 to talk with a trained professional. We can answer questions, provide referrals, and offer support.
  • Visit the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center Human Trafficking Drop-In Center at 10450 Superior Ave. in Cleveland for classes and programming to support survivors.