Attorney General Todd Rokita is asking Hoosiers to stay alert for signs of human trafficking in communities across Indiana and to report any suspicious activities to authorities.
“Human trafficking may seem like an issue that doesn’t affect your specific community, but it’s sometimes brushed under the rug because victims are either scared to admit the truth or are groomed at a young age,” Attorney General Rokita said. “Online recruitment has played a major role in this crime. Our kids are extremely vulnerable to sex trafficking and exploitation due to their excessive online presence. I encourage all parents to monitor their child’s online interactions to keep them safe.”
Human trafficking is a billion-dollar criminal enterprise. It occurs anytime someone uses force, fraud, or coercion to make another individual provide labor, services, or commercial sex acts.
People in certain job roles — such as medical professionals, restaurant workers, teachers, and truck drivers — are particularly likely to encounter trafficking victims.
With January being National Human Trafficking Awareness Month, it is a fitting time to remind Hoosiers to stay watchful and look out for signs of a potential trafficking victim.
“Human trafficking is a rapidly growing crime in Indiana and across our country,” Attorney General Rokita said. “Increasing awareness and education on the topic is the first step in helping these victims. Hoosiers value justice, and these callous enslavers should pay for their despicable crimes.”
According to the U.S. State Department, signs of human trafficking include observations that someone:
- lives with their employer.
- lives with multiple people in a cramped space.
- otherwise experiences poor living conditions.
- is prohibited from speaking alone to strangers.
- gives answers that appear to be scripted and rehearsed.
- has an employer holding their identity documents.
- shows signs of physical abuse.
- is submissive or fearful.
- is unpaid or paid very little.
- is under 18 and working in the commercial sex industry.
If you have suspicions that someone is being trafficked, you should immediately call local law enforcement. You may also call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888.
The Office of the Attorney General operates the Address Confidentiality Program, which helps protect victims of certain crimes — including those who have been trafficked — by concealing their residential address from the public and thereby their victimizers.
Learn more about the program at the Attorney General’s website.