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IF THE SITUATION IS AN EMERGENCY, CALL 911

For non-emergency calls, contact: MONTANA HUMAN TRAFFICKING HOTLINE

 1-833-406-STOP (7867)

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0
Total Contacts since 2007
0 %
of Total Contacts - 2019 alone
$ 0 /hr
14 yr old girl in Billings
$ 0 B
Annual Profits of Trafficking

Member Resources

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These resources are made available to MBWDA Members only. Available for print only, these resources are meant for display in member warehouse locations, vehicles, and/or provided to employees by Principals and Managers.

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For print only. By clicking 'View Assets' below, you agree not to alter or provide to non-members.
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Latest Heat Map with saturation adjustments
Heat Map depicting cases reported to the National Human Trafficking Hotline from 2015-2018.

WHAT IS HUMAN TRAFFICKING?

According to the Department of Homeland Security, “Human trafficking involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act.” A commercial sex act is the giving or receiving of anything of value (money, drugs, shelter, food, clothes, rent payment, etc.) to a person in exchange for a sex act.

Unfortunately, for many men, women, and children, they are targeted as easy prey, and these victims are often recruited using “psychological kidnapping.” Traffickers find and exploit the unique vulnerabilities in their victims, often using false promises of a better life (e.g., a feeling of belonging, financial security, or a chance for new opportunities). Following these claims -that seem legitimate at first- the trafficker uses a variety of tactics to ensure compliance.  They beat, rape, deprive the victim of –sleep or food, isolate them from family, threaten the victim’s family and/or friends, and use other psychological abuse.

IS THIS AN ISSUE IN MONTANA?

Yes.  Human trafficking is not just an issue that occurs “somewhere else.” In fact, Montana is known as “The Truck Stop State” in sex trafficking circles.  The many stops located along the I-90 corridor make it a convenient route for traffickers.  Along with this, our state’s size – one which could fit nine east coast states within its borders – coupled with the low population, makes Montana all too convenient of a place for this horrific crime to occur.  In Billings, a 14-year-old girl can sell for $900 an hour. (Source: FBI)

Since 2007, there have been 650 contacts (phone calls, texts, online chats, emails, and webforms) received by the National Human Trafficking Hotline that reference Montana. Of the 650 total contacts, 87 are from 2019. Of the confirmed cases from 2007-2019, the 2019 cases alone account for 23%. These numbers only represent what has been reported.     

Latest Heat Map with saturation adjustments
Heat Map depicting cases reported to the National Human Trafficking Hotline from 2015-2018.

There’s a reason why Montana is called
 
‘The Truck Stop State’ in sex trafficking circles.

While some pimps work exclusively in Billings, others from surrounding states recognize the income opportunity in Montana and the Dakotas. They create a circuit through the I-90 corridor, making stops…in Missoula, Butte, Bozeman, Billings, Williston, and Bismarck, then turn back around to hit the same customers on the way back. They use cell phones and messaging apps to place ads and arrange ‘dates’ ahead of time.”

Yellowstone Valley Women’s Magazine, 2019        

"It's right there.  All we have to do is open our eyes."

- Mike Markovich, Summit Beverage

If the content window below (e.g. the Myth vs. Facts table) does not appear in line with the tab headings on the left, please refresh your browser window.

HUMAN TRAFFICKING eDUCATION

MYTH

FACT

Those who are trafficked in the U.S. are not American citizens.

Human trafficking victims in the U.S. are foreign as well as domestic.

All trafficking victims are in large urban areas that are hot spots of crime.

Human trafficking knows no geographical bounds. It happens all over the U.S., including Montana.

Trafficking involves movement

The crime of trafficking is not about moving people from one place to another. No borders need to be crossed for traffickers to commit their crimes.

All traffickers are cartel members.

Many victims of human trafficking are trafficked by a family member or a person they trust.

Recruiting human trafficking victims happens quickly – like strangers trying to lure children away.

Recruitment is a process that usually takes place over a long period of time and in a much less obvious manner. It often includes subtle brainwashing and grooming tactics.

All victims of human trafficking are minors/women.

ANYONE can be a trafficking victim. It affects CHILDREN and ADULTS, WOMEN and MEN, GIRLS, and BOYS.

Trafficking must involve chains, beatings, or physical restraint.

The legal definition of human trafficking states: “by means of the threat or use of force, fraud, or coercion.” This means that a person could feel unable to leave a situation because of fraud, coercion, or manipulation, as well as physical restraint.

Trafficking only occurs at truck stops or illicit massage parlors.

It can happen anywhere, any time of day or night.

All the reported cases are victims self-reporting

Of the 87 contacts in Montana in 2019, only 15 of those were victims’ reports.

 



Meet Samantha, a trafficking survivor.  Originally recruited out of Missoula, MT and trafficked throughout Montana and North Dakota, Samantha never thought it would happen to her. Watch the video to hear Samantha’s story in her own words.



Is Human Trafficking an issue in Montana?  Watch the video to learn about Montana’s Human Trafficking epidemic.



Native American women and girls, in particular, are more susceptible to trafficking than other Montanans. According to U.S. Justice Department statistics, they account for just 3.3% of our population and account for 30% to 40% of our human and sex trafficking victims.



Traffickers target people in vulnerable situations and recruit them by building trust and offering safety and support. During the recruitment stage, victims may or may not be suspicious of their trafficker. If traveling to meet them, they may believe they’re going to a new boyfriend or starting an exciting new job.



Signs to look for include:
  • Young person that is very hesitant to engage in conversation
  • Seems to have trouble responding to what their name is or what location (City or even State) they are in. (Victims’ names are often changed frequently, as are their whereabouts. They typically do not stay in one location for long – at times for 24 hours or less).
  • Eyes are always downcast, avoiding eye contact, especially with men
  • Poor physical state…tired, malnourished, or shows signs of physical abuse or torture
  • Wearing clothes that do not fit the climate or the situation such as short shorts or skirts, tank tops, and has no jacket in the middle of winter
  • Has a tattoo that looks like a brand (usually on the chest or neck); “daddy” written on a young girl, a crown, a barcode, QR code, or a name spelled backwards (to remind the victim who they belong to).
  • Lack of control over, money, personal possessions like bags, ID’s, or documents. May also be carrying very few possessions in a plastic bag.
  • Does not have their own mode of transportation
  • Someone speaks on their behalf if they are asked a direct question
  • May be accompanied by a dominating person, or someone they seem fearful of. That controlling person may also be someone who does not seem to “fit,” such as a much older individual, an individual of a different race, or with behavior seemingly inappropriate with the suspected victim
  • Young girl (or boy) hanging around outside a convenience store, truck stop, casino, or other location. May be approaching different vehicles or men they do not seem to know.
One of these signs alone may not indicate a trafficking situation.



Meet Brittany, a trafficking survivor.  Originally recruited out of Missoula, MT.  Watch the video to hear Brittany’s story in her own words.



We are uniquely positioned to help fight this issue.  We have access to locations that many of the public,  and in some cases even law enforcement don’t –  such as kitchens, storage and back rooms. We access these places monthly, weekly or even daily, which makes it easy to spot when something just isn’t right.  We service over 3,200 accounts and are the eyes and ears of Montana’s highways and streets, convenience and grocery stores, restaurants, and bars, as well as Montana’s native reservations.



Along with the information provided on this webpage, digital assets are available that included warehouse/truck banners, posters, stickers and a 101 guide. 

These assets are available for members for digital viewing or print only. They should not be altered in any way.



View Assets

This roughly three hour video course is provided by The Lifeguard Group.  Participants can work through the entire course or in sections and at their own pace.

MEMBERS – Use COUPON CODE MBWDA2020 to access this course free.

Lifeguard Group Coursework

MYTH

FACT

Those who are trafficked in the U.S. are not American citizens.

Human trafficking victims in the U.S. are foreign as well as domestic.

All trafficking victims are in large urban areas that are hot spots of crime.

Human trafficking knows no geographical bounds. It happens all over the U.S., including Montana.

Trafficking involves movement

The crime of trafficking is not about moving people from one place to another. No borders need to be crossed for traffickers to commit their crimes.

All traffickers are cartel members.

Many victims of human trafficking are trafficked by a family member or a person they trust.

Recruiting human trafficking victims happens quickly – like strangers trying to lure children away.

Recruitment is a process that usually takes place over a long period of time and in a much less obvious manner. It often includes subtle brainwashing and grooming tactics.

All victims of human trafficking are minors/women.

ANYONE can be a trafficking victim. It affects CHILDREN and ADULTS, WOMEN and MEN, GIRLS, and BOYS.

Trafficking must involve chains, beatings, or physical restraint.

The legal definition of human trafficking states: “by means of the threat or use of force, fraud, or coercion.” This means that a person could feel unable to leave a situation because of fraud, coercion, or manipulation, as well as physical restraint.

Trafficking only occurs at truck stops or illicit massage parlors.

It can happen anywhere, any time of day or night.

All the reported cases are victims self-reporting

Of the 87 contacts in Montana in 2019, only 15 of those were victims’ reports.

Meet Samantha, a trafficking survivor.  Originally recruited out of Missoula, MT and trafficked throughout Montana and North Dakota, Samantha never thought it would happen to her. Watch the video to hear Samantha’s story in her own words.

Is Human Trafficking an issue in Montana?  Watch the video to learn about Montana’s Human Trafficking epidemic.

Native American women and girls, in particular, are more susceptible to trafficking than other Montanans. According to U.S. Justice Department statistics, they account for just 3.3% of our population and account for 30% to 40% of our human and sex trafficking victims.

Traffickers target people in vulnerable situations and recruit them by building trust and offering safety and support. During the recruitment stage, victims may or may not be suspicious of their trafficker. If traveling to meet them, they may believe they’re going to a new boyfriend or starting an exciting new job.

Signs to look for include:

  • Young person that is very hesitant to engage in conversation
  • Seems to have trouble responding to what their name is or what location (City or even State) they are in. (Victims’ names are often changed frequently, as are their whereabouts. They typically do not stay in one location for long – at times for 24 hours or less).
  • Eyes are always downcast, avoiding eye contact, especially with men
  • Poor physical state…tired, malnourished, or shows signs of physical abuse or torture
  • Wearing clothes that do not fit the climate or the situation such as short shorts or skirts, tank tops, and has no jacket in the middle of winter
  • Has a tattoo that looks like a brand (usually on the chest or neck); “daddy” written on a young girl, a crown, a barcode, QR code, or a name spelled backwards (to remind the victim who they belong to).
  • Lack of control over, money, personal possessions like bags, ID’s, or documents. May also be carrying very few possessions in a plastic bag.
  • Does not have their own mode of transportation
  • Someone speaks on their behalf if they are asked a direct question
  • May be accompanied by a dominating person, or someone they seem fearful of. That controlling person may also be someone who does not seem to “fit,” such as a much older individual, an individual of a different race, or with behavior seemingly inappropriate with the suspected victim
  • Young girl (or boy) hanging around outside a convenience store, truck stop, casino, or other location. May be approaching different vehicles or men they do not seem to know.

One of these signs alone may not indicate a trafficking situation.

Meet Brittany, a trafficking survivor.  Originally recruited out of Missoula, MT.  Watch the video to hear Brittany’s story in her own words.

We are uniquely positioned to help fight this issue.  We have access to locations that many of the public,  and in some cases even law enforcement don’t –  such as kitchens, storage and back rooms. We access these places monthly, weekly or even daily, which makes it easy to spot when something just isn’t right. 

We service over 3,200 accounts and are the eyes and ears of Montana’s highways and streets, convenience and grocery stores, restaurants, and bars, as well as Montana’s native reservations.

Along with the information provided on this webpage, digital assets are available that included warehouse/truck banners, posters, stickers and a 101 guide. 

These assets are available for members for digital viewing or print only. They should not be altered in any way.

View Assets


This roughly three hour video course is provided by The Lifeguard Group.
  Participants can work through the entire course or in sections and at their own pace.

MEMBERS – Use COUPON CODE MBWDA2020 to access this course free.

Lifeguard Group Coursework

Watch the Full Sentinel Project Video

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member resources

Member Resources

Sentinel Assets For members

These resources are made available to MBWDA Members only. Available for print only, these resources are meant for display in member warehouse locations, vehicles, and/or provided to employees by Principals and Managers. They should not be altered or modified from their original content.

Sentinel Assets for Members

For print only. By clicking 'View Assets' below, you agree not to alter or provide to non-members.
View Assets

LIFEGUARD GROUP Resources

LIFEGUARD GROUP ASSETS FOR MEMBERS

This video course is made available to MBWDA Members only and provided by The Lifeguard Group. It should not be altered or modified from its original content.

LIFEGUARD GROUP ASSETS FOR MEMBERS

MEMBERS - Use COUPON CODE MBWDA2020 to access this course free. By clicking 'View Course' below, you agree not to alter or provide the discount code to non-members.
View Assets

ON HUMAN TRAFFICKING

"With this partnership and this relationship [with MBWDA], this could be the beginning of the end."

 - Lowell Hochhalter, The Lifeguard Group

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