A new resource from the National Human Trafficking Resource Center enables youth who are victims of commercial sexual exploitation to ask for help discreetly over text message. Young people simply text “BeFree” (233733) to connect immediately with the resource center's hotline. Users communicate with trained specialists about their situation and learn about local services, all without having to speak a word.
The resource center, which is run by the anti-trafficking nonprofit Polaris Project and supported by a grant from the Administration for Children & Families, added the 24/7 texting option to give youth a way to reach out when they can't talk about their circumstances safely. Some youth may prefer to text even when they are not under a trafficker’s watchful eye.
For those who would rather call by phone, the hotline is always available at 1-888-373-7888.
Youth workers can call or text the resource center for information about trafficking and nearby resources, or if they think they may be working with a trafficked young person.