Texting Increases Human Trafficking Victims’ Access to Help


Washington, DC on March 28, 2013—
“Human trafficking victims across the country can now send texts to get help and escape modern-day slavery, Polaris Project and Thorn: Digital Defenders of Children announced today. Victims and concerned citizens can now send text messages to “BeFree” (233733) and instantly connect with the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) hotline (1-888-3737-888), operated by Polaris Project.

“Many trafficking victims cannot just pick up the phone and call for help, because of extreme isolation or constant monitoring by their traffickers,” said Bradley Myles, Executive Director of Polaris Project. “The ability to send a silent text message could mean the difference between escape and continued exploitation. We are grateful for the support that we have received from Thorn, Twilio, and salesforce.com to increase our reach through SMS technology to more vulnerable people who need our help.”

The new system allows individuals to discreetly contact the NHTRC hotline through text message 24 hours a day. Call specialists will then respond via text to address each individual’s needs, which could include coordinating an immediate crisis response with local service providers or providing urgent and non-urgent referrals, safety planning, and emotional support.”

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