Check for Understanding

Victims may have many barriers to seeking help and reporting the trafficking, and may not self-identify, but by being able to recognize signs and indicators of human trafficking, you may be able to identify potential cases of trafficking.

Test your knowledge of the material in this section by participating in this check for understanding.


Review some common red flags in the lists below.

Red Flags of Human Trafficking

Physical Health

  • Frequent treatment for sexually transmitted infections
  • High number of sexual partners
  • Multiple pregnancies/abortions
  • Exposure to toxic chemicals
  • Dental Issues
  • Bruising and burns
  • Signs of self-harm
  • Weight loss or malnourishment
  • Respiratory issues
  • Suicide attempts
  • Physical and sexual abuse

Behavioral Health

  • Confusing/contradicting stories
  • Inability to focus or concentrate
  • Unaware of current date, location, or time
  • Protects person who hurt them
  • Minimizes abuse
  • Guilt and shame about experiences
  • Suicidal ideations
  • Extreme timidity
  • Aggressive, antagonistic, or defensive
  • Heightened stress response
  • Post traumatic stress disorder
  • Withdrawn
  • Depressed


  • Not able to speak for oneself or share information
  • Evidence of being controlled
  • Wears inappropriate clothing for the weather
  • Lives at work site
  • Multiple people in cramped living space
  • Absent from school
  • Failing grades
  • Sudden increase in substance use
  • Change in dress
  • Age-inappropriate romantic partner
  • Change in friends
  • Repeat runaway

Click the button below for a downloadable version of the Red Flags of Human Trafficking chart.