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How the United States Battles Increasing Incidences of Human and Sex Trafficking

A growing network of local, state, and federal groups is raising awareness and bringing human traffickers to justice. These crimes are taking a greater toll every year. Here’s how the United States is fighting back.

Illegal exploitation is an issue that every American needs to know more about. Sex trafficking is happening in our own backyard, but together, we can end it.



Here are some facts about sex trafficking:

  • Over two million children are sold every year through sex trafficking

  • Human trafficking has been reported in every state

  • Right now there are hundreds of thousands of people being exploited right here in the U.S.


How Could This Happen in the United States?

There are many reasons for human and sex trafficking crimes to be committed in the U.S. (and globally), but what remains constant is that the perpetrators can be very subtle and people may not realize what they are getting into until it is too late. Survivors of this crime are often unable to speak up for themselves, for a host of reasons; including fear and shame. The perpetrators prey on the vulnerable. Fortunately, there are organizations like Selah Freedom who work tirelessly to help extract survivors and provide them with a new beginning of freedom and restoration to build a new life.


What People Can Do to Help the Fight Sex Trafficking

Here are 16 ways you can fight sex trafficking:

  • Learn about the indicators of sex trafficking so you can help identify potential victims

  • Invite Selah Freedom to train your team 

  • If you see something, say something! Call the national human trafficking hotline at 1-888-3737-888 or call Selah Freedom’s intake like at 1-888-8-FREE-ME

  • Volunteer with us

  • Meet with and/or write to your local, state, and federal government representatives to let them know you care about combating human trafficking, and ask what they are doing to address it.

  • Host a Party with a Purpose or Cocktails for a Cause

  • Encourage your local schools to educate students, faculty, and staff on this issue through our Prevention Program’s curricula designed for K-12th grade

  • Be well-informed. Set up a web alert to receive current human trafficking news.

  • Businesses: Provide jobs, internships, skills training, and other opportunities to trafficking survivors

  • Students: Take action on your campus. Join or establish a university club to raise awareness about human trafficking and initiate action throughout your local community. Consider doing one of your research papers on a topic concerning human trafficking.

  • Shop for freedom

  • Spread the word and stay connected

  • Give back

  • Support our mission

  • Join the Free 365 Community

  • Become a Freedom Corporate Partner


The US Department of State also provides a list of ways to prevent human and sex trafficking in its ‘20 Ways You Can Fight Human Trafficking in 2020.’ People can contact their elected officials, volunteer at community organizations or events, and organize fundraisers to help anti-trafficking groups. College students can rally their friends on campus to help raise awareness and the US Department of State site even offers resources for attorneys who want to represent survivors of human trafficking.


What else can people do to stop human trafficking in America? An important action is to learn the warning signs of human trafficking and watch for these, so a person or persons can report unusual activity that could save lives. Some of the signs include:

  • Victims avoid social interactions and look away when someone speaks to them

  • Evidence of physical abuse

  • Depression or differences in mood

  • Lifestyle and appearance changes

  • Gang-related signs or symbols appear on their person or clothing

  • Learn more of the signs here:


If one notices these things happening to friends or others in the community, it’s important to report these new behaviors and changes in appearance to 1-888-8-FREE-ME. The trafficker will likely have a physical and psychological hold on the individual(s), so it’s imperative for anyone who notices these signs to report them without delay – it could mean the difference between saving someone’s life and a life of continued slavery and exploitation.


There are other places to report suspected human trafficking tips: Call 911. Individuals who notice suspicious activity can also call the U.S. Department of Homeland Security at 1-866-347-2423; it receives calls every day, 24/7/365. The U.S. Department of Labor has its own hotlines where suspected human trafficking crimes can be reported: 1-202-693-6999 or 1-800-347-3756.


Signs of Hope

Although this can feel like a dark and heavy issue, Selah Freedom has the privilege of bringing light into that darkness. 87% of survivor graduates of our program do not return to the streets. 100% of survivors in our Residentials Program are pursuing their educational and career goals.


Continued Pressure to Eradicate Sex Trafficking

Selah Freedom works every day to help reduce the incidence of human trafficking and to save people from the exploitation that these criminals impose. Thankfully individuals around the nation are becoming aware of these heinous crimes and volunteering to help bring human and sex trafficking perpetrators out into the light through education and awareness activities. It’s vital that citizens of the U.S. understand the seriousness of this issue and work to help prevent human trafficking within and through this country.


The president in January 2020 heeded the call of human rights groups and the many dedicated individuals working to save the lives of exploited victims. President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order to help stimulate agency cooperation and bring awareness to human trafficking. Executive agencies of the federal government will recommend to the president new ways for law enforcement to be able to track and apprehend human traffickers. Better methods for locating missing and runaway children were requested in the Executive Order, and recently news has come of success in rescuing missing children at risk for human trafficking.


All of the resources, organizations, and actions mentioned here are helping to fight human trafficking and yet the problem continues. It’s hoped that more volunteers, champion donors, and concerned citizens will assist law enforcement, federal and community leaders to reduce the incidence of these crimes. The first step is awareness. Educate yourself and your family, friends, and community. Together, we can end sex trafficking!

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