Human Trafficking - Deal with First Things First

Often, a trafficked person will have specific concerns that they want to address first. Whether a person is trafficked or not, first assess their immediate safety and needs:

  • Are they worried about their safety?
  • Can you help them feel safe right now?
  • Do they need medical care?
  • Do they need food or water?
  • Do they need rest or sleep?
  • Do they need to make a phone call?
  • Do they need a change of clothing or a blanket to keep warm?
  • Do they need an aspirin or a throat lozenge?

Focus on helping solve immediate concerns and problems. This may mean finding other service providers such as a shelter or a doctor.

My Story: It’s gut-wrenching and soul destroying. When I finally escaped I went to a shelter. The only thing I wanted to do was sleep. I was so exhausted.

- Stacey

Patience, good listening skills and kindness can contribute to a climate of trust to help the person feel comfortable and safe.

Remember: talking with you may be one of the only opportunities a trafficked person has to get help.

Reality Check: If Helen, from Case Study 1 of this module, told you her story now, do you think you’d recognize her as someone who may have been trafficked? Why or why not?


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