Human trafficking involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act. The labor is usually demanded through violence and/or coercion, capturing and containing the victims. It can happen in any community and victims can be any age, race, gender, or nationality. Traffickers might use manipulation or false promises of well-paying jobs or romantic relationships to lure victims into trafficking situations.
Identifying Human Trafficking
The US Department of Justice has identified Long Island as a top spot for human trafficking in the US. Anyone can become a victim. At risk groups include:
- Youths — minors account for 26% of trafficking victims
- People lacking financial stability — their need for work and/or money affords a trafficker the perfect situation to capitalize upon
- LGBT population — traffickers use blackmail, threats and intimidation to gain control over their victims
- Refugees, Immigrants and Non-Native Speakers — the lack of familiarity with customs, language, resources or laws. Central American immigrants make up a large portion of trafficked victims here on Long Island.
Key Indicators of Human Trafficking:
- An isolated or disconnected person who lacks social or familial ties
- A person who has become submissive, anxious or generally fearful, lacking freedom to move as they please
- A person without material possessions, documentation, personal affects or identification
- A person lacking food, medical treatment or personal hygiene
- A person who is regularly accompanied by another person and carefully watched, coached or interrupted while speaking
How can VIBS help victims of Human Trafficking?
Our program is focused on intervention, information and education to help restore normality to the lives of victims, break down the trauma and reduce symptoms of PTSD. Our services include:
- Court accompaniment
- Legal services
- Assistance with obtaining services such as
- Educational support and training
Human trafficking is often misunderstood and under-reported. If you or someone you know may be a victim of human trafficking, help is available. Contact our 24/7 Crisis Hotline at (631) 360-3606 for more information or to request services.