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Human trafficking is often referred to as “modern day slavery.” It is the illegal trade of humans for forced labor or exploitation. Trafficking has been around for years, but is often confused with other activities such as smuggling. In human trafficking cases individuals are coerced or forced into commercial sex or forced labor. Smuggling is a crime against a border while trafficking is a crime against a person. The three most common types of human trafficking are forced labor, sex trafficking and debt bondage. According to the U.S. Department of State, forced labor is the biggest type of trafficking in the world. People that are trafficked can be male or female, rich or poor, children or adults, foreign or US citizens.
Our advocates provide emotional support and services to survivors of human trafficking. Our free and confidential services include:
24-hour crisis intervention and advocacy
Referrals to counseling
Information and referrals for
- medical care
- educational training
- financial assistance
- social services
Rape Crisis Advocacy
As a part of a Sexual Assault Response Team, our advocates provide the information and support survivors need to deal with the crime of sexual assault/rape including assistance in
- reporting the crime
- completing the forensic examination
- and any court-related matters.
Criminal Justice Assistance
Our certified domestic violence advocates assist survivors experiencing adult abuse(as defined under NDCC 14-07.1-01), with
- the Protection Order application
- courtroom advocacy
- providing emotional support during the protection order hearing
- follow-up and referral
- assistance with crime victims compensation
- and community education presentations.
What is a Domestic Violence Protection Order?
Protection Orders (or “POs”) are documents filed with the court system that, if granted, state that your abuser cannot contact you or be near you. Your children can also be protected under this order. Protection orders do NOT mean that your abuser will be charged with Domestic Violence, or that he/she will be immediately placed under arrest. He/she will not be arrested unless the Protection Order is violated after it has been served.
Who Can Request a Domestic Violence Protection Order?
According to the North Dakota Supreme Court website, “A spouse or former spouse, a family member, a parent, a child, a person related by blood or marriage, a person presently residing with the abusing person or who has resided with that person in the past, a person who has a child in common with the abusing person, persons who are in a dating relationship, or any other person with sufficient relationship to the abusing person as determined by the Court.”
Domestic Violence Protection Order Process
The victim (known as the “Petitioner”) completes the petition for the Protection Order and files it with the court. An advocate at the Abused Adult Resource Center (AARC) can help you with this. If the court finds that you are in immediate danger based on the information that was filed, they can issue a Temporary Protection Order.
A court hearing will be scheduled no later than 14 days after the temporary order is issued. This hearing is held to determine whether or not the court will extend the Protection Order. This gives both the Petitioner and the Respondent a chance to say why the Protection Order should or should not be extended. You can request that a AARC advocate be present with you at this hearing for support. However, please keep in mind that we are not lawyers. If you wish to have a lawyer present, you must arrange this prior to the hearing.
Signs of Human Trafficking
Are you or someone you know being trafficked? Is human trafficking happening in your community? Recognizing potential red flags and knowing the indicators of human trafficking is a key step in identifying more victims and helping them find the assistance they need.
Bear in mind that not all indictators will be present in all situations. The type of trafficking and the content or environment are all important to take into account.
Common Work and Living Conditions: The individual(s) in question
- Is not free to leave or come and go at will
- Is under 18 and is providing commercial sex acts
- Is in the commercial sex industry and has a pimp / manager
- Is unpaid, paid very little, or paid only through tips
- Works excessively long and/or unusual hours
- Is not allowed breaks or suffers under unusual restrictions at work
- Owes a large debt and is unable to pay it off
- Was recruited through false promises concerning the nature and conditions of his/her work
- High security measures exist in the work and/or living locations (e.g. opaque windows, boarded up windows, bars on windows, barbed wire, security cameras, etc.)
- Is living and working on site
- Experiences verbal or physical abuse by their supervisor
- Is not given proper safety equipment
- Is not paid directly
- Is forced to meet daily quotas
Poor Mental Health or Abnormal Behavior
- Is fearful, anxious, depressed, submissive, tense, or nervous/paranoid
- Exhibits unusually fearful or anxious behavior after bringing up law enforcement or immigration officials
- Shows signs of substance use or addiction
Poor Physical Health
- Shows signs of poor hygiene, malnourishment, and/or fatigue
- Shows signs of physical and/or sexual abuse, physical restraint, confinement, or torture
Lack of Control
- Has few or no personal possessions
- Is frequently monitored
- Is not in control of their own money, financial records, or bank account
- Is not in control of their own identification documents (ID or passport)
- Is not allowed or able to speak for themselves (a third party may insist on being present and/or translating)
- Claims of just visiting and inability to clarify where they are staying/address
- Lack of knowledge of whereabouts and/or do not know what city he/she is in
- Appear to have lost sense of time
- Shares scripted, confusing, or inconsistent stories
- Protects the person who may be hurting them or minimizes abuse
This list is not exhaustive and represents only a selection of possible indicators. The red flags in this list may not be present in all trafficking cases. Each individual indicator should be taken in context, not be considered in isolation, nor should be taken as “proof” that human trafficking is occurring. Additionally, cultural differences should also be considered.
If you have concerns for yourself or someone you know, please contact the Abused Adult Resource Center for help.