Human Trafficking Resources

Disclaimer: Schwartz Therapy + Wellness, P.C. has gathered information to provide to the public on the topic of human trafficking.  The information provided has been sited and verified when possible.

A Brief History...

It is a misconception that human trafficking does not exist in your community; the magnitude of human trafficking is often times hidden in plain sight.  If you hear, see or suspect sex, labor or both types of trafficking are happening you can be a part of the solution to take action against this devastation. 

In 2000, it was estimated that nearly 27 million slaves existed throughout the world, today, that number is around 35-40 million with the United States being the largest desertion country for those being trafficked into the sex industry, with Germany being the first (Zhang, 2007).

Human Trafficking as defined by the Oxford English Dictionary (2012):

"To carry on trade, to trade, to buy or sell, to have commercial death with any one; bargain or deal for a commodity."  Trafficking is also associated with "dealings considered improper" or "to have heading of an illicit or secret character." 

2 Types of Human Trafficking exist:         

  • Sex Trafficking: “is a commercial sex act which is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or which the person who is induced to person such an act has not attained 18 years of age.”
  • Labor Trafficking: “ the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.
    • Source: The United States Department of State Trafficking Victims Protection Act (2000).

Indicators of Human Trafficking (Not an exclusive list):

  • Not in control of their money, time, other resources (similar in sex/labor trafficking)
  • Evidence of a controlling relationship (role of domestic violence)
  • Loss of interest in age- appropriate activities (depends on age)
  • Certain use of language (“The life”, “Daddy”)
  • Visible Signs of Physical Abuse (Not limited to Physical)
  • Chronic exhaustion
  • History of sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
  • Chronic runaways
  • Evidence of extreme neglect in home
  • Contradicting personal information (trying to cover up something)
  • Extreme secrecy in whereabouts, unaccounted for time
  • Certain nonverbal cues (responses and non responses have shifted)
  • Fearful, anxious, overly submissive behavior, added tension or nervousness
  • Added interest in older men
  • Tattoo (role of branding) on neck, chest, arts (sometimes a name, other items a “brand: such as a bar code): click on the image below for more branding examples used in human trafficking.
  • Very little connection to community, friendship/ family networks
  • Sudden change in lifestyle (jewelry, expensive clothes, accessories)
  • Wearing clothes which are not weather appropriate
  • Sudden presence of older “friend” or “boyfriend”
  • Not in possession of personal effects/ documents

Types + Venues of Sex Trafficking (Not an exclusive list):

  • Adult entertainment venues
    • Hostess/ strip clubs
    • Peep shows      
  • Commercial (Fake) massage parlors
    • Often times victims live on site
    • Most often documented and undocumented Asian women
  • Residential Brothels
    • Located in homes, town halls, condos, apartments, trailers
    • Victims often undocumented Latin American women/ children  
  • Servile marriage (through legitimate VISA Programs)
  • Interfamilial Pimping

Types + Venues of Labor Trafficking (Not an exclusive list):

  • Chattel Slaver, similar to old slavery
  • Debt bondage, most common form of slavery
  • Contract slavery
  • Sweatshop factories
  • Begging or trinket selling
  • Hotel work
  • Landscaping, gardening, casinos, magazine peddlers, hair braiders

Michigan Legislation:

  • PA 343 of 2014(SB 597 Warren) Training for Medical Professionals requires that medical professionals be trained to identity the signs of human trafficking in patients.
  • PA 337 of 2014 (SB 587 Gregory) DHS Referral: DHS shall perform assessment. Psychological evaluation and medical examination when the juvenile is referred to the department.  In addition to any reunification, adoption or other services provided to a child under DHS’ care counseling services appropriate for the victim.
  • PA 339 of 2014 (SB 590 Proos) Allow Victims to Sue Captors: To be known as the “Human trafficking victims compensation act”.  This bill will allow victims to sue their captors of damages that result from physical and mental suffering, damage and destruction of property and expenses incurred.
  • PA 328 of 2014 (SB 602 Hune) Requires “Johns” to Register on the Sex offender registry: requires those caught soliciting prostitution form a minor to be placed on the sex offender registry.

A Few Key Points:

  • Human trafficking is happening in our own backyards and within our communities
  • Victims of human trafficking are not criminals
  • Traffickers/pimps and Johns need to be held accountable
  • Program the NATIONAL HUMAN TRAFFICKING HOTLINE number into your phone: 1.888.373.7888
  • Join the anti human trafficking movement-do your part!

Additional Resources:

  • National Human Trafficking Resource Center: The National Human Trafficking Hotline is a national anti-trafficking hotline serving victims and survivors of human trafficking and the anti-trafficking community in the United States. The toll-free hotline is available to answer calls from anywhere in the country, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year in more than 200 languages.  The National Hotline: (1.888.373.7888).  Can also be accessed by emailing, submitting a tip through the online tip reporting form, and visiting the web portal at

  • Polaris: Polaris is a leader in the global fight to eradicate modern slavery. Named after the North Star that guided slaves to freedom in the U.S., Polaris systemically disrupts the human trafficking networks that rob human beings of their lives and their freedom. Our comprehensive model puts victims at the center of what we do – helping survivors restore their freedom, preventing more victims, and leveraging data and technology to pursue traffickers wherever they operated.  Website:

  • Text HELP to 233733 (B E F R E E): to get help for victims and survivors of human trafficking or to connect with local services.

  • S.O.A.P.: Allows concerned citizens to help put a stop to human trafficking in their community and save missing children. Kids as young as 9 years old, fathers with their sons, and an 83 year old nun have put labels on bars of soap. There is something you can do about this! The beauty of S.O.A.P. is that it is simple and easy and can be customized to your wants, needs and abilities. Website:

  • National Immigration Law Center (NILC) : Established in 1979, the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) is one of the leading organizations in the U.S. exclusively dedicated to defending and advancing the rights of immigrants with low income.  Website:

Tricked Documentary Trailer

The Girlfriend Experience Trailer

Additional Images of Branding