Human Trafficking Survivor And FBI Agent Team Up To Save Victims
Thousands of Americans become the victim of human trafficking each year. This survivor is speaking out and fighting back.
A Michigan woman has partnered with an FBI agent to teach police officers how to work with survivors of human trafficking.
Nicole Denson told Fox 2 in Detroit that she was just 16 years old when she met a man at the mall. The two began dating, but it was also the beginning of a nightmare. Her boyfriend was kind and personable at first, and DensonDenton didn’t realize the danger she was in until she found herself at a house party with 15-20 men where she was forced to have sexual contact for money.
It was money that her “boyfriend” kept.
He trafficked her at parties for a year, pocketing the money while Denson kept up her daytime facade as the perfect daughter and student. One day, her trafficker stopped taking her to parties and apologized, and she was free, she told Fox 2.
After her ordeal, she met FBI Agent Susan Lucas, and the two formed a friendship. Now, they teach police deparments in Michigan how to relate to survivors of human trafficking that officers may encounter throughout the course of their work.
The National Human Trafficking Hotline explains trafficking like this: “Human trafficking occurs when a perpetrator, often referred to as a trafficker, takes an Action, and then employs the Means of force, fraud or coercion for the Purpose of compelling the victim to provide commercial sex acts or labor or services.”
Minors forced into commercial sex acts are considered to be human trafficking victims even if there was no force, fraud, or coercion on the part of the trafficker.
In Michigan, there were 364 incidents of human trafficking reported in 2019. Nationwide, there were more than 11,000 incidents of human trafficking that same year.
How you can help
According to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, these are the steps you can take to save the life of yourself or someone else:
- If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, call 911.
- Call the National Human Trafficking Hotline toll-free hotline at 1-888-373-7888: Anti-Trafficking Hotline Advocates are available 24/7 to take reports of potential human trafficking.
- Text the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 233733. Message and data rates may apply.
- Chat the National Human Trafficking Hotline via www.humantraffickinghotline.org/chat
- Submit a tip online through the anonymous online reporting form below. However, please note that if the situation is urgent or occurred within the last 24 hours, you should call, text, or chat.