WHAT IS AN ACTIVE BYSTANDER?

An engaged bystander is someone who intervenes before, during, or after a situation when they see or hear behaviors that promote sexual violence. Most trafficking occurs in plain sight - restuarants, bars, hotels. The public and employees of service industry are often at the front line of dealing with human trafficking, and should be alert for red flags.

** ONLY APPROACH THE SITUATION IF IT IS SAFE FOR BOTH YOU AND THE SUSPECTED VICTIM

RED FLAGS

Red flags are warning signs that someone is being trafficked. These signs can be subtle enough to be hidden in plain sight. One red flag does not mean there is trafficking taking place, but as an active bystander it is important to be aware of the situation and details.

  • Discouraged to speak on their own behalf

  • An employee who looks out of place (ex. Too young)

  • Not in control of their own schedule, not allowed to participate in social events

  • Shows signs of abuse (Physical or mental)

  • Physical branding

  • Inability to make eye contact

  • Skewed sense of time or physical location

  • Van or RV in an odd location with frequent visitors

  • Inconsistent stories

  • Workers not handling their own money

  • Students or classmates behaving inappropriately, or having intense anxiety of consequences

WHAT TO DO

Direct Bystander

Confront the situation by speaking to a bartender, manager, a figure of authority in the environment and delegate the responsibility to them.

Proceed to call your local law enforcement

 

If you are a responsible adult in a safe position, ask the suspected victim (as applicable):

Do your parents/ relatives know where you are?

When was the last time you saw your family?

Can you text, call whoever you want?

Does anyone control your communication?

Delegate Bystander
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If you are concerned about a potential human trafficking situation then contact the
National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline at 
1-888-373-7888 or text to BeFree (233733)
for specialized victim services referrals or to report the situation.