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Press Release

Human Trafficking Awareness Month

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Indiana

HAMMOND – Every year since 2010, the President of the United States has proclaimed January “National Human Trafficking Prevention Month” and reaffirmed the United States Government’s commitment to combatting human trafficking in all its forms. 

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Indiana joins in this commitment and will continue to prioritize combatting forced labor, domestic servitude, and sex trafficking of children and adults throughout the District. 

“A crucial and necessary step in combatting Human Trafficking is recognizing potential trafficking situations and taking the further step of reporting these activities to law enforcement,” said United States Attorney Clifford D. Johnson.  “My office is committed to working with its state and local partners both in law enforcement and through non-governmental organizations, advocacy groups, trauma-informed service providers and community leaders to support victims, prevent trafficking where possible, and  prosecute those who are engaging in  human trafficking.  We are most effective in addressing these situations when the community joins with us to recognize and report ‘red flags’ that may indicate a trafficking situation.  We encourage the public to join us in rooting out these crimes, not only during this month of recognition, but each and every day.” 

Below are a few questions that can help identify whether a potential sex trafficking or labor trafficking situation is occurring.

  • Has the victim been forced or coerced into performing commercial sex acts?
  • Is the victim under the age of 18 and engaged in commercial sex?
  • Is the victim free to contact friends or family without being coached or monitored?
  • Is someone severely limiting the victim’s freedom of movement? 
  • Has the victim or their family been threatened with harm if they attempt to leave?
  • Has the victim been harmed, deprived of food, water, sleep, medical care, or other life necessities?
  • Is the victim in possession of their own travel/identification documents?
  • Are the victim’s wages being unlawfully garnished to pay off a debt or fee?
  • Is the victim allowed to socialize or attend religious services?
  • Has the victim been threatened with deportation or criminal charges?

If a situation arises where the answer to one or more of the above questions is “Yes”, the U.S. Attorney’s Office asks that you to join in the effort to combat human trafficking and report the information.  

If you are a victim of human trafficking, suspect you know one, or have seen a situation you think may involve trafficking please contact the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI, the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or text HELP or INFO to BeFree (233733), or your local law enforcement. If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, please call 911. If you believe a child is involved in a trafficking situation, submit a tip through the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children’s Call Center at 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678).

Information on the Department of Justice’s efforts to combat human trafficking can be found at

Updated January 11, 2024

Human Trafficking