Human Trafficking Awareness Day

In The Spotlight

**** HRP Media Release

Human Trafficking Awareness Day

February 22 is Human Trafficking Awareness Day and the integrated Human Trafficking Team wants victims of human trafficking to know that police are here to help.

Our first priority is the safety of victims. Members of the Human Trafficking Team work with community partners to support victims, address their specific needs and get them to safety. Victims will be treated with dignity and respect and their safety will remain our primary goal. We want to assure victims that the decision to participate in the investigation is theirs and we will respect their wishes.

Human trafficking is a criminal offence that involves controlling, forcing, intimidating, or deceiving a person of any age in order to exploit them through various forms of sexual exploitation or forced labour. Investigators in the Human Trafficking Team focus on targeting those who are responsible for coercing people into the sex trade.

We need the public’s assistance to stop the exploitation of people in our community.

If you or someone you know is a victim of human trafficking:

  • To reach out for support or share information, call:
    • 902-490-5142 to contact the integrated Human Trafficking Team. Please note this line is not monitored 24/7.
    • 902-449-2425 to contact the Nova Scotia Human Trafficking Team, 24/7.
    • 1-833-900-1010 to contact the Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline, 24/7.

If you witness suspicious activity you think may be linked to human trafficking, you should:

  • Not intervene. You may put yourself and others at risk if you intervene. You could also inadvertently interfere with an ongoing investigation.
    • Record all relevant information, including names, dates, time, location, descriptions of people and vehicles.
  • Report it:
    • 911 to report a situation where someone’s life is at risk or they require immediate assistance.
    • 902.490.5020 to report an incident requiring a police officer to attend the scene, e.g. you need an officer to collect evidence related to human trafficking.
    • 1.800.222.8477 to make an anonymous tip to Nova Scotia Crime Stoppers.

For more information on the human trafficking, visit:

**** RCMP Media Release

Human Trafficking Awareness Day: Today we’re shining a light on the crime where people are sold for profit.

Typically, a victim has a relationship with their trafficker that follows a specific set of stages, including:
1.) Luring: The trafficker seeks out a victim, potentially using a vulnerability the person has to gain access into their life. They collect as much information about the victim as possible. This can include information about their family situation, relationships they have with family and friends, personal issues; anything that helps the trafficker be in a better position to develop a relationship with the victim.
2.) Grooming: The trafficker begins to treat the victim as special to him or her. They may bring them places, take them on trips, buy gifts or allow them to experience a more glamourous life than the victim is used to. Many victims develop feelings of love, trust and loyalty to their trafficker. During this stage, the trafficker continues to gather more information. That information allows the trafficker to manipulate the victim further. They gain access to some of the victim’s most personal experiences. Illicit drugs, alcohol and petty crimes may be introduced in this stage. Isolation from friends and family can occur.
3.) Coercion and manipulation: The trafficker starts sending mixed messages and using the information they have gained against the victim. The trafficker makes the victim believe they are mad so that the victim tries to please the trafficker and get back into their good books. The victim is made to feel that without the trafficker, they have no one, no one understands them and no one else will love or help them.
4.) Exploitation: The victim’s self-esteem is broken by the trafficker. Threats may be made against the victim, family, friends, pets and/or personal belongings. This can result in the victim being compliant. The victim is made to feel indebted to their trafficker. The exploitation happens when the victim is put in a position to do something they would not normally do. Although the trafficker may make the victim feel it is their choice, no choice is given and the victim is made to do this against their will due to coercion and manipulation.

The Nova Scotia RCMP is committed to holding human traffickers accountable to the full extent of the law while connecting victims with the resources and supports they need. There is a Nova Scotia Human Trafficking Team dedicated to conducting human trafficking investigations, educating partners and stakeholders and facilitating victim support. The team is made up of RCMP and municipal officers and was created in consultation with the province.

If you are or have been trafficked, or believe someone you know is being trafficked, the RCMP has a support line you can call or text to speak with a member of the Nova Scotia Human Trafficking Team. It is monitored 24 hours a day by a police officer: 902-449-2425. Callers can choose to leave their information anonymously. Anonymous calls can also be made by contacting Nova Scotia Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS, submit a secure web tip at www.crimestoppers.ns.c or by using the P3 Tips app. You may also choose to contact the Human Trafficking National Coordination Centre hotline at 1-833-900-1010.

Knowing the indicators and stages of human trafficking can help people identify victims. Please share this message to help spread the word.

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