Due to COVID-19 health concerns, Central Valley Against Human Trafficking (CVAHT) emergency services and remote case management services are available.
The phone line remains open: (559) 500-7630.
Contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline at (888) 373-7888 to report a case.
Check the CVAHT Facebook page for more info.
Human Trafficking Victims Identified
- Female 91.7% 91.7%
- Male 7.5% 7.5%
- Self-Identified .3% .3%
Labor & Sex Trafficking
Data through June 2020
What is Human Trafficking?
Human trafficking is a crime in which people profit from the control and exploitation of others. As defined under U.S. federal law, victims of human trafficking include children involved in the sex trade, adults age 18 or over who are coerced or deceived into commercial sex acts, and anyone forced into different forms of “labor or services,” such as domestic workers held in a home, or farm-workers forced to labor against their will. The factors that each of these situations have in common are elements of force, fraud, or coercion that are used to control people. Then, that control is tied to inducing someone into commercial sex acts, or labor or services. Numerous people in the field have summed up the concept of human trafficking as “compelled service.”
Every year, human traffickers generate billions of dollars in profits by victimizing millions of people around the world and here in the United States. Human trafficking is considered to be one of the fastest growing criminal industries in the world.
Central Valley Against Human Trafficking (CVAHT) provides awareness, training, technical assistance, advocacy and direct services about human trafficking and trafficking-related issues. Through Sanctuary and Youth Services’ other programs, emergency shelter, transitional housing, case management, transportation, referrals, and other assistance is provided to victims of all forms of human trafficking. CVAHT funded partners provide additional assistance to victims of human trafficking; including services for immigrants and victims of domestic violence. CVAHT leads the anti-trafficking effort throughout the Central Valley of California and consistently represents the region in state and nation-wide efforts.
Through partners and stakeholders, CVAHT serves a six-county region including Merced, Madera, Fresno, Tulare, Kings and Kern counties.
CVAHT was founded in 2009 as a result of staff’s increased awareness of minor girls presenting at Sanctuary Youth Shelter with a history of trafficking. Fresno EOC Sanctuary and Support Services was awarded a federal grant from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to create the Central Valley Freedom Coalition and raise awareness of human trafficking. The overarching goals of Central Valley Against Human Trafficking (CVAHT) are to:
- Provide leadership for the Central Valley Freedom Coalition
- Increase public awareness, of the dangers of trafficking and the protections that are available for victims;
- Provide training and technical assistance to multi-sector professionals;
- Provide outreach to those at risk for trafficking; and
- Identify victims of human trafficking and provide advocacy and direct services.
How to recognize the signs of trafficking
It is difficult for the average person to assess the presence of trafficking. However, there are signs that one should be familiar with as follows:
Common Work and Living Conditions
- Is not free to leave or come and go as he/she wishes
- Is under 18 and is providing commercial sex acts
- Is in the commercial sex industry and has a pimp / manager
- Is unpaid, paid very little, or paid only through tips
- Works excessively long and/or unusual hours
- Is not allowed breaks or suffers under unusual restrictions at work
- Owes a large debt and is unable to pay it off
- Was recruited through false promises concerning the nature and conditions of his/her work
- High security measures exist in the work and/or living locations (e.g. opaque windows, boarded up windows, bars on windows, barbed wire, security cameras, etc.)
Poor Mental Health or Abnormal Behavior
- Is fearful, anxious, depressed, submissive, tense, or nervous/paranoid
- Exhibits unusually fearful or anxious behavior after bringing up law enforcement
- Avoids eye contact
Lack of Control
- Has few or no personal possessions
- Is not in control of his/her own money, no financial records, or bank account
- Is not in control of his/her own identification documents (ID or passport)
- Is not allowed or able to speak for themselves (a third party may insist on being present and/or translating)
Poor Physical Health
- Lacks health care
- Appears malnourished
- Shows signs of physical and/or sexual abuse, physical restraint, confinement, or torture
- Claims of just visiting and inability to clarify where he/she is staying/address
- Lack of knowledge of whereabouts and/or do not know what city he/she is in
- Loss of sense of time
- Has numerous inconsistencies in his/her story
Frequently Asked Questions
If I think I have encountered a trafficked person, should I attempt to rescue them?
No, these situations can be very dangerous. Contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline at (888) 373-7888 to report the tip or 911 if there is a current crisis and then have faith that the proper authorities will respond.
What else can I do to help with this issue?
Educate yourself. Learn how your choices as a consumer impact trafficked persons around the world. Learn how your perceptions of other social issues impact a trafficked person. Labor rights, immigration rights, women’s rights, child abuse, environmental concerns, and other important issues are all intertwined when it comes to human trafficking.
What should I do if I want to become further involved?
Make sure you are working with or supporting a legitimate anti-trafficking organization. There are many organizations that do good ethical work and those are the ones that need to be supported. Start with the National Human Trafficking Resource Center for further information about those organizations in your area or contact Central Valley Against Human Trafficking.
Are there any other resources regarding human trafficking?
How You Can Help
Central Valley Against Human Trafficking (CVAHT) is always in need of funds to provide emergency hotel vouchers, pre-paid cellular phones and gift cards to grocery stores and stores including Wal-Mart for essential items such as food, diapers, and clothing. To make a donation, please use the Donate button to the right.
For more information on getting involved, email firstname.lastname@example.org