According to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, human trafficking violates human freedom, agency, and rights for the sake of profit. Traffickers “trick, defraud or physically force victims into providing commercial sex.” In other instances, victims are manipulated, physically/verbally assaulted, and even manipulated into working “under inhumane, illegal or otherwise unacceptable conditions.”
Here at VIA LINK, contact center representatives have been receiving training since 2015 about how to recognize signs of human trafficking. They are also trained about local and global human trafficking resources and how to effectively assist callers affected by human trafficking. While an “active rescue” can only be performed by 9-1-1 officials,VIA LINK can connect victims with the most appropriate resources for their needs such as transportation, food and shelter. If, at any time, the caller appears to be under an immediate sense of danger, contact center representatives will contact emergency personnel.
If you or someone you know is a victim of human trafficking, here is a list of resources found in Louisiana. Resources with asterisks (***) are provided in regions throughout the state.
Covenant House manages a community service center offering prevention and after-care services for youth and adults. Non-residential services offered to all persons include health care,
independent living education, vocational services, GED, employment services, substance abuse prevention, case management, and remediation labs. Covenant House offers shelter and a continuum of services to homeless youth 16-22. **Victims of human trafficking will be taken in, no questions asked. Individuals should make staff aware that they are escaping trafficking and may need safety-related accommodations.
Eden House is the first home opened in Louisiana with a mission to serve women who have been survivors of human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation. New residents are given a key, offered the resources needed to maintain recovery, heal from childhood wounds, get physically healthy and address mental and psychological issues. During the two year program, residents are taught to live and work as productive members of our community. Each woman is taught life skills, given the opportunity to return to school and/or enter a job training program, offered financial literacy training and given legal assistance. Residents must be at least 18 years of age.
Free NOLA operates a short term (3-6 weeks) residential facility where victims receive shelter,
food & clothing, health evaluation and love. Free NOLA will assist victim in finding long-term placement. Should the person need detox, they will be placed in a detox center prior to being taken to the facility. Free NOLA also does community outreach. All services are free of charge.
Greater New Orleans Human Trafficking Task Force is a coalition of state, civil society, and citizen organizers committed to the prevention of human trafficking in the Greater New Orleans area through education, outreach, collaboration, and research. The group’s primary goal is to collaborate in sharing and disseminating information, contacts, and protocols related to the existence, prevention, and response to human trafficking in and around New Orleans. Coalition members include Eden House, Covenant House, New Orleans Family Justice Center, Jewish Family Service of Greater New Orleans, Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, and others.
Metropolitan Center for Woman and Children*** serves victims of domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault, and human trafficking, including women, teens and children. Provides, non-residential and residential services, emergency and transitional shelters, legal services, advocacy, counseling and maintains a 24-hour crisis hotline. Location is confidential.
The National Human Trafficking Hotline***connects victims and survivors of sex and labor trafficking with services and supports to get help and stay safe. The National Hotline also receives tips about potential situations of sex and labor trafficking and facilitates reporting that information to the appropriate authorities in certain cases. The toll-free phone and SMS text lines and live online chat function are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Help is available in English or Spanish, or in more than 200 additional languages through an on-call interpreter. Hearing and speech-impaired individuals can contact the Hotline by dialing 711, the free national access number that connects to Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS).
New Orleans Family Justice Center is a partnership of agencies dedicated to ending family violence, child abuse, sexual assault, and stalking through prevention and coordinated response by providing comprehensive client-centered, empowerment services in a single location. New Orleans Family Justice Center provides comprehensive free services.
Services include: Counseling (Individual and Group), Crisis Intervention, 24-hour Crisis Line, Case Management, Community Training/Education, Intervention Services for Children, Emergency Safe Shelter/Legal Advocacy.
Polaris Project*** is a national organization in the global fight against human trafficking and modern-day slavery. Named after the North Star “Polaris” that guided slaves to freedom along the Underground Railroad, Polaris Project is seeking to transform the way that individuals and communities respond to human trafficking, in the U.S. and globally, by pushing for stronger federal and state laws, operation of the National Human Trafficking Hotline (888-373-7888), conduct trainings, and providing vital services to victims of human trafficking, Polaris Project seeks to create long-term solutions that move our society closer to a world without slavery.