Human trafficking can include recruiting, harbouring or controlling a person's movements using force, physical or psychological coercion, or deception. Traffickers often make victims do labour (e.g., domestic, physical, and manual labour) or sexual services.

Warning Signs That Someone is being Groomed or is a Victim of Human Trafficking 
  • Being controlled by others and not able to speak for themselves;
  • Not allowed to have/carry their own ID or Passport or Lying about age/false ID;
  • Not having control of their own money or cellphone;
  • Given a second cell phone with a secret number;
  • Being controlled by others and escorted at all times;
  • Not being allowed to contact family or friends;
  • Withdrawing from family and friends;
  • Providing rehearsed answers to casual questions;
  • Being secretive about their activities;
  • Having a new boyfriend, girlfriend, or friend who they won't introduce to friends/family;
  • Having money or new items (clothing, jewelry, hotel keys, etc.) outside their financial means;
  • Unfamiliar with the neigbourhood they live or work in.

NOTE: Not all indicators listed are present in every human trafficking situation.

 
Physical Appearance Signs 
  • Wearing age inappropriate clothing;
  • Wearing inappropriate clothing for time of year;
  • May have expensive clothing, purses, shoes, nails which they never had before;
  • Signs of branding, scars, tattoos with traffickers name/symbol;
  • Showing signs of abuse, such as bruising, cigarette burns, fractures, etc.;
  • May show signs of being restrained, confined, or tortured.
Victims 
  • May appear like they are unaware they are being victimized because they have a relationship with their trafficker eg. boyfriend or friend;
  • May appear taken care of because they may have a place to live, food, nice clothes, or even a job;
  • May think they are not allowed to reach out for help because they choose to be in the relationship or feel trapped;
  • Feel alone, isolated, helpless, appear to do as they are told;
  • May have been taught to distrust Police or other government agencies afraid they will get arrested/deported;
  • Fear for their safety or the safety of their family as trafficker may have threaten them;
  • Victims of human trafficking can experience devastating psychological effects during and after their trafficking experience. Many survivors may end up experiencing post-traumatic stress, difficulty in relationships, depression, memory loss, anxiety, fear, guilt, shame, and other severe forms of mental trauma.

Resources

Women’s Rural Resource Centre 

  • 24-hour crisis helpline: 1-800-265-5390
  • 145 Beech Street, Strathroy, Ontario N7G 1K9;
  • Telephone: 519-246-1526; Fax: 519-246-1422;
  • Email inquiries to: info@wrrcsa.org
  • Office Hours: Monday to Friday 9 am – 5 pm.

Victim Services of Middlesex - London

  • 601 Dundas St., London, Ontario, N6B 1X1 (located in City of London Police Service building)
  • Telephone: Temporary Line: 226-678-4631; Office: 519-661-5636