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Human Trafficking: The Victims

Five images depicting ordinary people from different races, cultures, and age groups.

Human trafficking victims have been identified in cities, suburbs, and rural areas in all 50 states, and in Washington, D.C.

Risk Factors

While human trafficking spans all demographics, there are some circumstances that to lead to a higher susceptibility to human trafficking. These include:  

  • Recent Migration/Relocation 
  • Substance Use Concern 
  • Mental Health Concern
  • Unstable Housing


In general, women are more vulnerable to becoming victims of human trafficking than men: the International Labor Organization estimates women and girls account for 71% of all persons who are trafficked around the world. Below are 2017 statistics for the United States, provided by the National Human Trafficking Hotline

  • Women: 7,067 cases
  • Men: 1,124 cases

Learn The Signs of Human Trafficking

As victims are not a homogenous group of people, there is no single way to identify the signs of trafficking. The following list provides only some of the signs a victim may exhibit:  

  • Living with employer or in isolation 
  • Conversation appears to be scripted or rehearsed 
  • Have few or no personal possessions 
  • Appear emotionally numb and/or display "flat affect" 

‚ÄčWant to learn more? These organizations have created guides to help identify victims of human trafficking: 

Department of Heath and Human Services: Identifying Victims of Human Trafficking 

United Nations: Human Trafficking Indicators 

U.S. Department of State: Identify and Assist a Trafficking Victim 

Hear Their Stories

Connect with victims and hear stories of human trafficking in their own words

Equality Now: Trafficking Survivor Stores

End Slavery Now: Modern Slave Narratives