2018 U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline Statistics

More Survivors Than Ever Are Reaching Out to Be Connected to Services

The National Human Trafficking Hotline provides survivors of human trafficking with vital support and options to get help and stay safe. These options could include connecting callers with emergency shelter, transportation, trauma counselors, local law enforcement, or a range of other services and support. The National Hotline has handled 51,919 cases since 2007, comprising one of the largest publicly available data sets on human trafficking in the United States. These aggregated, anonymized data help illuminate otherwise hidden trends, risk factors, methods of control, and other variables that allow this crime to manifest across the country. With these tools, we can better respond to and prevent human trafficking. 

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Locations of Likely Human Trafficking Cases in the U.S.

“In a case I had a couple months ago, there was an 18-year-old who called the Hotline while her trafficker was out for a little bit. She only had 20 minutes to talk and she wanted to stop engaging in commercial sex. I was able to get her to leave the location—get to somewhere public, somewhere safe. After hours of working on this case, I eventually got her connected to law enforcement, a shelter for the night, and a long-term plan for what she’s going to do next.”
- National Human Hotline Trafficking Advocate

Who are the survivors?

Every year, more survivors are reaching out to the National Hotline and more people are seeking help for survivors they know. The data is based on a systematic survey but are analyzed from the information received about 23,078 survivors in 2018. As people disclosed more detailed information about their own trafficking experiences or about potential victims for whom they were seeking support, National Hotline staff noted key elements. Individuals are never asked questions specifically for data collection purposes and are only asked to share what they are comfortable providing so that they can be connected to the support they want.
Survivor DemographicsThese statistics are non-cumulative and only reflect the instances when the information was provided for an individual survivor.

How are the victims trafficked?

The data from the 23,078 survivor records give insight into the systems and tactics that traffickers use to conduct their businesses. Traffickers frequently prey on an individual’s vulnerabilities, and the data spotlight factors that may have placed these victims at risk—as well as the variety of tactics used to recruit and keep them in a trafficking situation. 

Top 5These statistics are non-cumulative and only reflect the instances when the information was provided for an individual survivor.

Contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline

If you or someone you know needs help, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline toll-free hotline, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-888-373-7888 to speak with a specially trained Anti-Trafficking Hotline Advocate. Support is provided in more than 200 languages. We are here to listen and connect you with the help you need to stay safe.

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Disclaimer: The above information encompasses data from January 1, 2018, to December 31, 2018, unless otherwise noted. It only represents contacts made to the National Hotline in the United States—and not the full scope or prevalence of human trafficking. As additional data reviews are conducted, the data can be refined when more information about specific cases is received. The data are based on analyses as of July 30, 2019. “Contacts” made to the National Hotline include phone calls, texts, web chats, web forms, and emails. Cases are defined as situations of human trafficking, which may involve more than one survivor.