Human trafficking is the trade of humans for the purpose of forced labor, sexual slavery, or commercial sexual exploitation.
Many people think that trafficking happens to other people in other countries. The truth is there are thousands of victims in the United States, here in the Pacific Northwest and right here in your own town. There’s a common assumption that it only happens to children, but everyone is at risk, no matter what age you are.
Who is at risk for trafficking?
It can happen to anyone.
- Victims of trafficking can be of any nationality, ethnicity, age and gender.
- Those most at risk include vulnerable people, runaways, homeless youth and victims of abuse or discrimination.
- Many victims are out in public and living in your community.
Where can it happen?
It can take place anywhere.
- Many victims are targeted and exploited in their own cities.
- Trafficking occurs in a wide range of venues, from parties to motels, businesses or rest areas, your own home, etc.
- Victims can be sold online through ads and social media or dating websites.
How to spot a trafficker:
There is no stereotype for a trafficker.
- A trafficker can be a man or woman.
- A family member or a friend.
Traffickers use a variety of tactics to lure victims such as…
- Young victims may be sought out near schools, stores, homes or bus stations.
- Victims are also pursued online.
- Creating an emotional or romantic bond and can claim to be a boyfriend or girlfriend.
- Making false promises of a job or money.
- Using fear, isolation, manipulation, or violence to keep a victim trapped.
What can I do?
Know the warning signs!
A person who is being exploited may be…
- Fearful, anxious, depressed, submissive or paranoid.
- Reluctant to talk about themselves, where they live, or where they are from.
- Give answers that seem scripted.
- Not in control of their own money or ID. Unpaid or paid very little.
- Living in poor conditions.
- Inability to speak for themselves.
- Fearful that they are being watched.
- Unable to come and go as they please, escorted to and from work.
- Dressed inappropriately for the weather or situation.
- Unsure of where they are.
- Showing signs of physical, emotional or sexual abuse.
- Minimal contact with family and friends.
Know that you can help!
- If you suspect trafficking, you can report it without alerting the trafficker.
- Contact the police, a local advocacy organization or hotline.
- To help reduce trafficking, support local organizations such as safe houses or other groups that offer services to women and at-risk youth.
- Call 911 right away if you or someone else is in immediate danger.
Do you want out? Are you being forced to work against your will? There is hope!
Call the Kalispel Tribe Victim Services 24/7 hotline for immediate, free services:
Or contact the National Helpline:
TEXT: “BeFree” (233733)
LIVE CHAT: HumanTraffickingHotline.org
Help is available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.
Camas Path ~ 1821 LeClerc Rd, Cusick, WA 99119
Please visit the interactive murals at the Camas Center for Community Wellness and Northern Quest Resort & Casino.
This mural “Who’s Missing” was created by artist Terra Price from Spokane, WA in collaboration with a local photographer, Axel Imagery.
The idea behind the mural originated with the hope of bringing awareness to the area about human trafficking. Both artists hoped that people would stop and take a moment, placing themselves physically in the picture frame in front of the mural and think, ‘who is missing from this picture, from my life?’
“We want them to visualize and think this could happen to me, this could happen to my family or my friends”, says artist Terra Price.