Human Trafficking

Targeting the Vulnerable

Youth who are homeless, LGBTQ or victims of abuse and neglect are particularly vulnerable to this form of modern-day slavery.

Human Trafficking involves the use of force, fraud or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex. In cases involving minors, however, the use of force, fraud or coercion does not have to be present for the offense to be classified as human trafficking because a minor cannot legally consent.

It happens in small towns and big cities. Perpetrators can be of any race, ethnicity, gender or occupation, from corporate executives and business owners to gang members and even parents or family members of a victim.

Ohio has one of the highest rates of human trafficking in the United States.

Warning Signs

Human Trafficking is a hidden crime, meaning victims usually aren’t able or willing to come forward and seek help, or share their experiences after they escape. They may be afraid due to threats from their captors or they may be dependent on the food and shelter their captors provide in exchange for sex.

Here are some common indicators to help recognize human trafficking:

Physical Appearance

  • Has injuries or other signs of abuse and is reluctant to explain them
  • Appears malnourished
  • Is branded or marked with a tattoo, such as a man’s name, symbol of money, or a barcode
  • Dresses in a provocative manner or in the same clothes, regardless of weather or circumstance


  • Owns very few personal possessions
  • Has an unexplained, sudden increase in money, clothing, or possessions like jewelry
  • Doesn’t carry identification
  • Has a number of hotel keys or key cards
  • Carries a prepaid cell phone


  • Fears authority figures
  • Claims to be an adult
  • Moves frequently from place to place
  • Talks about an older boyfriend or sex with an older man
  • Has inconsistencies in their story
  • Claims to be visiting but doesn’t know what city they’re in or how long they’ll be there
  • Isn’t able to speak for themselves
  • Has sexually explicit profiles on social networking sites
  • Is not enrolled in school or is consistently absent
  • Seems to be withdrawn or depressed

Lack of Control

  • Is accompanied by someone who seems to control their every move
  • Seems scripted in the way they speak
  • Doesn’t have control over their own money
  • Can’t come and go on their own

How to Get Help

If you are a victim of human trafficking or if you believe you may have information about a trafficking situation, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or text INFO or HELP to BeFree (233733).

This national, toll-free hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year. All reports are confidential, and you may remain anonymous.

If you suspect someone is in immediate danger, please call 911.

Locally, COMPASS Rape Crisis and Counseling Center and Daybreak Youth Crisis Center partner with the Mahoning Valley Human Trafficking Task Force.

Call Rape Crisis Center at (330) 782-3936 or Daybreak at (330) 782-2397, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Learn More


Our mission is to help individuals and families build better lives and a stronger community.

Our vision is to be recognized and respected as a leading community and family service agency that is distinguished by its unique ability to provide comprehensive, easily accessible and timely services.

Daybreak Youth Crisis Center is a program of COMPASS Family & Community Services.

Administrative Office:
535 Marmion Ave
Youngstown, OH 44502

(330) 782-5664