All victims of human trafficking deserve to feel safe and supported. Quality care, compassionate responses, and essential services can help victims recover from their victimization. OVC has compiled the following list of resources to help victims and survivors receive the assistance they need.
- If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, call 911.
- Contact an OVC-funded service provider in your area to learn more about available services and assistance. Visit the services and task forces map for contact information.
- For additional assistance and resources, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline, a multilingual, toll free, 24-hour anti-trafficking hotline, at 888–373–7888.
- To find a free lawyer to assist you, contact a Legal Services Corporation program in your area.
- Other crisis lines that can provide assistance to victims of human trafficking include—
- American Pregnancy Helpline: 866–942–6466
- GLBT National Youth Talkline: 800–246–7743
- National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800–799–7233
- National Runaway Safeline: 800–786–2929
- National Sexual Assault Hotline: 800–655–4673
- Planned Parenthood: 800–230–7743
- Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800–273–8255
- Depending on their eligibility, trafficking victims may have access to—
- Career One Stop (employment, training, and career resources)
- Children’s Health Insurance Program
- Refugee Resettlement Benefits
- Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Recovery and Support Programs
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
- Supplemental Security Income Benefits
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
Find additional information about available services on the Office for Trafficking in Persons, Services Available to Survivors of Trafficking web page.
- Each state and territory has a victim compensation program to reimburse crime victims for the cost of medical services, mental health counseling, lost wages, and other expenses incurred as a result of the crime. State statutes govern victim compensation benefits, so eligibility may vary among states.
Contact the compensation program located in the state where the crime occurred for more information for eligibility and the application process. To find the appropriate victim compensation program, visit our Help in Your State page and click the state in which the crime occurred.
A local victim assistance program may also be able to assist you with filing a victim compensation claim. Contact VictimConnect for a referral in your area.
Many people in human trafficking situations don't seek help because they don't know their rights. However, all people in the United States—regardless of immigration status—have rights and are protected by our laws.
No one can—
- Force you to work against your will.
- Collect a debt by using threats or forcing you to work to pay the debt.
- Force you to work using threats to harm you or your family.
- Force or pressure you into prostitution or to do other sex acts.
- Use you for any kind of sex work if you are under 18.
- Take away your passport, birth certificate, or identification card to control you or your movements.
Several immigration options were specifically created for trafficking victims, such as Continued Presence and the T Visa, and options for crime victims of trafficking, including the U Visa and Special Immigrant Juvenile Status. To learn more, visit the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security, Resources for Victims of Human Trafficking & Other Crimes.
For more information about victims’ rights, visit—
- Attorney General Guidelines for Victim and Witness Assistance
- Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit, Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice
- National Crime Victim Law Institute: Know Your Rights
- Victim Services, Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Department of Justice
- Wage and Hour Division, U.S. Department of Labor
Effective Service Delivery
Responses to victimization must include a focus on the needs, beliefs, and interests of the victims. OVC encourages victim service providers to engage survivors and incorporate survivor voices in anti-trafficking efforts.
To assist organizations in their efforts to be trauma-informed and victim-centered, we have provided this sample principles statement that includes three principles of survivor engagement. Your organization may consider adopting these principles, or adjusting them to suit your mission, to guide and support efforts to be survivor-informed.
Community Impact and Awareness
Engaging survivors is often thought of as listening to survivor stories of trauma and recovery. However, there are many ways to empower survivor voices, including inviting and cultivating their thoughts and analyses of critical issues affecting the field.
We encourage communities to connect and build impactful relationships with local survivor leaders. Survivor consultants are available to provide support to through OVC’s Training and Technical Assistance Center (OVC TTAC).
OVC acknowledges the unique perspective survivors bring to service providers, communities, and federal policymakers. We are committed to working closely with survivors, including the United States Advisory Council on Human Trafficking, to inform policies and practices that enhance the work of the anti-trafficking field.