Support for Survivors
ASPEN is committed to providing support and resources to survivors of human trafficking. Survivors can be connected to ASPEN by contacting the national hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or text “BEFREE” or “HELP” to 233733. Survivors can also get help by calling ASPEN directly on our 24/7 support line at 406-222-8154.
What is Human Trafficking?
Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery. This crime occurs when a trafficker uses force, fraud or coercion to control another person for the purpose of engaging in commercial sex acts or soliciting labor or services against his/her will. Force, fraud, or coercion need not be present if the individual engaging in commercial sex is under 18 years of age.
Myth vs. Reality
Myth: It’s always or usually a violent crime.
Reality: By far the most pervasive myth about human trafficking is that it always - or often - involves kidnapping or otherwise physically forcing someone into a situation. In reality, most human traffickers use psychological means such as tricking, defrauding, manipulating or threatening victims into providing commercial sex or exploitative labor.
Myth: Only women and girls can be victims and survivors of sex trafficking.
Reality: One study estimates that as many as half of sex trafficking victims and survivors are male. Advocates believe that percentage may be even higher, but that male victims are far less likely to be identified. LGBTQ boys and young men are seen as particularly vulnerable to trafficking.
Myth: Human trafficking involves moving, traveling or transporting a person across state or national borders.
Reality: Human trafficking is often confused with human smuggling, which involves illegal border crossings. In fact, the crime of human trafficking does not require any movement whatsoever. Survivors can be recruited and trafficked in their own home towns, even their own homes.