Warning Signs

Signs of Human Trafficking

  • Appearing malnourished

  • Showing signs of physical injuries and abuse

  • Avoiding eye contact, social interaction, and authority figures/law enforcement

  • Seeming to adhere to scripted or rehearsed responses in social interaction

  • Lacking official identification documents

  • Appearing destitute/lacking personal possessions

  • Working excessively long hours

  • Living at the place of employment

  • Checking into hotels/motels with older males, and referring to those males as a boyfriend or “daddy,” which is often street slang for pimp

  • Poor physical or dental health 

  • Tattoos/ branding on the neck and/or lower back

  • Untreated sexually transmitted diseases

  • Small children serving in a family restaurant

  • Security measures that appear to keep people inside an establishment - barbed wire inside of a fence, bars covering the insides of windows

  • Not allowing people to go into public alone, or speak for themselves


“Warning Signs of an Abusive Person.” Domestic Violence Reduction Unit DVRU RSS, 27 Oct. 2004, www.portlandoregon.gov/police/article/60653.

“Warning Signs of Human Trafficking.” Human Trafficking - Warning Signs of Human Trafficking, ag.nv.gov/Human_Trafficking/HT_Signs/.

Signs of Domestic Violence

  • Jealousy and Possessiveness. Wants to be with you constantly. Accuses you of cheating all the time. Follows you around and frequently calls. Asks friends to check up on you.

  • Controlling Behavior. Constantly questions who you spend your time with, what you did/wore/said, where you went. Makes you ask permission to do certain things. Acts like you don’t have the ability to make good decisions. Hides controlling behavior by pretending to be concerned for your safety.

  • Quick Involvement. Six months or less before living together or engaged. Claims love at first sight. Pressure for commitment. Says you are the only one who can make him feel this way.

  • Unrealistic Expectations. Compliments you in a way that makes you seems superhuman. Over-flattering. Expects you to be perfect. Says, "I am all you need. You are all I need."

  • Isolation. Puts down everyone you know- friends are either stupid, slutty, or you are cheating with them- family is too controlling, doesn’t really love you, or you are too dependent on them. Refuses to let you use car or talk on phone. Makes it difficult for you to go to work or school. Tries to cut off all your resources.

  • Blames Others for Problems. If there are problems at school or work, it is always someone else’s fault. If anything goes wrong in the relationship, it is all your fault. Won’t take responsibility for own behavior.

  • Blames Others for Feelings. Tries to make you responsible for how they feel. "You’re making me mad." "You’re hurting me by not doing what I ask." "I can’t help being angry." Won’t take responsibility for own feelings.

  • Hypersensitivity. Easily insulted. Sees everything as a personal attack. Looks for fights. Blows things out of proportion. Unpredictable. You can never tell what will upset him.

  • Disrespectful or Cruel to Others. Punishes animals or children cruelly. Insensitive to pain and suffering. Teases children until they cry. Doesn’t treat others with respect. Dismissive of others’ feelings.

  • "Playful" Use of Force During Sexual Activity. Little concern over whether you want sex or not, and uses sulking or anger to manipulate you into compliance. Makes sexual or degrading jokes about you.

  • Verbal Abuse of Any Kind.

  • Rigid Sex Roles. Believes women are inferior to men. Unable to be a whole person without a relationship.

  • Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Sudden mood changes- like they have two personalities. One minute nice, next minute exploding. One minute happy, next minute sad.

  • Past Battering. You may hear the person was abusive to someone else. They say it’s a lie, or their ex was "crazy," or it wasn’t that bad.

  • Threats of Any Kind.

  • Breaking or Striking Objects. Breaks loved possessions. Beats on table with fists. Throws objects.

  • Any Force During an Argument. Pushes, shoves, or physically restrains you from leaving room.

  • Doesn’t Respect Your Property or Privacy.