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Early Warning Signs for Human Trafficking

Please note that there are three forms of trafficking: Sexual trafficking, Labour trafficking and Organ trafficking.

Signs may include, but are not limited to:


  • Having a significantly older boyfriend.

  • Showing signs of physical trauma such as unexplained bruises, black eye, cuts or other marks.

  • Showing signs of emotional trauma including increased fear, anxiety, depression, tension, and/or nervousness.

  • If a youth, traveling with an older male or person who is not their guardian.

  • If a youth, labelled as a chronic runaway.

  • May have multiple delinquent charges.

  • Victim has or is currently experiencing homelessness.

  • Has special marked tattoos, or branding on his/her body (that he/she might be unwilling to explain).

  • Using substances on a regular basis.

  • Victim is increasingly absent from school / work or missing from home, with no explanation of their whereabouts.

  • Has started accumulating new clothes, shoes, and/or jewelry that he/she can’t account for.

  • Has a new cell phone that he/she cannot account for

  • Has an increase in income without explanation

  • Is very secretive about his/her whereabouts.

  • Is chatting online with people his/her parents or friends have never met.

  • Has possession of prepaid cards and or hotel keys or receipts.

  • Has suddenly changed his/her appearance such as dressing more provocatively.

  • Has been charged or has a previous record of prostitution.

  • Has an explicitly sexual online profile found on internet community sites, internet classified ads, and/or social media sites.

  • Has no identification or is not in control of his/her identification documents.

  • Gives conflicting personal information or stories to law enforcement.

  • Has multiple or frequent Sexually Transmitted Infections.

  • Comes from or has an unstable home environment.

  • Has family history in the commercial sex industry.

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IF You or Someone you know may be in an abusive relationship, please call TDVS for support and information or check our resource listing for additional resources and support services.

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