Human Trafficking does exist in Austin. The Austin Police Department primarily encounters cases of sexual exploitation of teenage girls.
Anyone encountering trafficking should call 911. Information about a potential trafficking situation can be reported to the National Trafficking Hotline 1-888-373-7888, APD’s Human Trafficking Unit 512-974-4786, or the Crime Stopper’s tip line 512-472-TIPS (8477).
Human Trafficking takes many forms and the signs can be hard to spot. Victims are most often isolated, scared to interact with strangers, and do not have their basic needs met.
People from all walks of life are trafficked, but individuals from vulnerable populations are most often targeted by traffickers. In Austin, this is predominantly teenage girls who have run away from home or do not have a safe home to go to.
In addition to the physical violence and threats of violence against themselves, victims also face the threat of having their family members harmed or murdered by the traffickers if they try to run away or tell anyone about their situation. This creates extreme fear and psychological bondage that keeps them enslaved.