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Human trafficking awareness workshop held Webster University

WEBSTER GROVES, MO - On Saturday Webster University's Legal Studies Department at the College of Arts & Sciences, and the St. Louis Chapter of The Links, Incorporated participated in a  workshop led by area legal and law enforcement experts. The workshop was held in honor of National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month in order to shed a light this important national issue, particularly in our region.

Experts talked about the signs of human trafficking, what is going on in the St. Louis region, and what people can do to help.

Human trafficking harms adults and children of all ages and demographics.  Through force, fraud, and coercion, traffickers push their victims into demeaning forms of abuse, including domestic servitude and commercial sexual exploitation.  These crimes often remain hidden because victims are reluctant to seek help for a variety of reasons, including language barriers, fear of traffickers and law enforcement, and lack of trust.  Human trafficking destroys precious lives and threatens our Nation’s security, public health, and the rule of law.  It is a scourge on the global community.

If you or someone you know needs help, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline toll-free hotline, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-888-373-7888 to speak with a specially trained Anti-Trafficking Hotline Advocate.  Support is provided in more than 200 languages.  We are here to listen and connect you with the help you need to stay safe.

Callers can dial 711 to access the Hotline using TTY.

You can also email us at help@humantraffickinghotline.org.

To report a potential human trafficking situation, call the hotline at 1-888-373-7888.

All communication with the hotline is strictly confidential.

Contact the hotline if you or someone you know:

Is being forced to have sex for money or something of value against his or her will

Is under 18 and engaging in commercial sex

Is being forced to work or perform services against his or her will

Click here for more information on red flags and trafficking assessment questions.

Safety Tips

Trust your judgment. If a situation/individual makes you uncomfortable, trust that feeling.

Keep all important documents and identification in your possession at all times.

Keep important numbers on your person at all times, including the number of someone you feel safe contacting if you are in trouble.

Make sure that you have a means of communication (cell phone, phone card), access to your bank account, and any medication that you might need with you at all times. Have an extra phone charger on you.

Document any unwanted contact by your trafficker (calls, texts, emails, showing up at your work/home) and save any voicemails/texts/emails that are threatening in nature.

Have a special signal (lights flicking on and off, code word, code text message, etc.) to use with a trusted friend/relative/neighbor to notify them that you are in danger or a person/situation is suspicious.

If you are ever in immediate danger, the quickest way to access help is to call 911.

Additional Resources

Domestic Violence: National Domestic Violence Hotline, 24-hour Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

Sexual Abuse: Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), 24-hour Hotline: 1-800-656-4673

Suicide: National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 24-hour Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Dating Violence: National Dating Abuse Helpline, 24-hour Hotline: 1-866-331-9474

Runaway and Homeless Youth: National Runaway Safeline, 24-hour Hotline: 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929)

Missing Children and Child Pornography: National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, 24-hour Hotline: 1-800-THE-LOST (843-5678)

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