Barriers to Seeking Services


Victims of trafficking face many challenges in seeking services due to their unique situations.

Frequently victims:

  • Fear and distrust health care providers, government, and law enforcement.
  • Are unaware that what is being done to them is a crime because they:
    • Do not consider themselves victims
    • Blame themselves for their situations
    • May develop loyalties and/or positive feelings toward trafficker as coping mechanisms
    • May try to protect trafficker from authorities
    • Sometimes victims do not know where they are, because traffickers frequently move them to escape detection

Undocumented immigrants in the US are highly vulnerable due to a combination of factors in addition to those listed above.

Those factors include:

  • Do not speak English and are unfamiliar with the U.S. culture
  • Lack of legal status and protections
  • Limited employment options
  • Poverty and immigration-related debts
  • Social isolation
  • Fear of deportation

Individuals are often victimized by traffickers from a similar ethnic or national background, on whom they may be dependent for employment or a means of support.

WEAVE provides culturally appropriate and trauma-informed services to help minimize barriers victims of trafficking may face.