“People will rarely call themselves a victim of trafficking. This language is not how they would describe things.”

- Jolene Engelking, White Earth Nation descendent

Signs of Human Trafficking

While there is no defining characteristic of a human trafficking victim, traffickers often look for victims with noticeable vulnerabilities such as lack of social support networks, low self-esteem, or financial or housing insecurity. Quality care, compassionate responses, and essential services are needed to help survivors of human trafficking recover from their victimization.

“We know while there are similarities in [survivor] experiences, there are a lot of difference as well... we should never be providing services or creating any programs unless we are listening to survivors first. They should always be at the center of what we are doing, and so we should always make sure we are listening to our relatives.”

- Nicole Matthews, White Earth Band of Ojibwe

Questions & Answers

These questions and answers come from Talking Circle conversations where American Indian and Alaska Native practitioners share their experiences supporting survivors of human trafficking. 


If you or a loved one are experiencing human trafficking, you are not alone.

Strong Hearts Native Helpline and the National Human Trafficking hotline are available 24/7 to listen. All conversations over phone, text, and online chat are confidential and anonymous.  

During your conversations, if you desire, you may receive referrals to state or local resources.