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Human Trafficking in Wisconsin

Hear from Emmy, the founder of Lacey’s Hope Project, Inc. She is a sex trafficking survivor who grew up in Wisconsin suburbs, got good grades, was in sports, and FFA.

Safe Harbor grants child victims of sex trafficking immunity from prosecution for prostitution charges.

In 2016, Wisconsin made a huge stride in aiding children who are victims of sexual exploitation by changing state law to classify child sex trafficking as abuse under the children’s code and provide protective services to trafficked youth (2016 Wisconsin Act 367). Safe Harbor takes another step in recognizing children as victims of exploitation by removing the ability to charge a child with prostitution. By changing this statute, Wisconsin law will no longer conflict with the Federal Trafficking Victims Protection Act, which treats coerced children as victims, even if they have engaged in criminal prostitution activity. Safe Harbor ensures child victims of sex trafficking are not treated as criminals. Furthermore, by eliminating the threat of prosecution, traffickers will no longer be able to use the threat of criminalization as a way to keep children inside the cycle of abuse they undergo while being trafficked. After Minnesota passed its Safe Harbor law, convictions of traffickers quadrupled, as children were more likely to testify against their abusers. It is critical that our state step up and show children that law enforcement is available to help them find needed services, not treat them as criminals for the crime committed against them.

Download our Safe Harbor Toolkit

Listen to our Executive Director’s Podcast Interview with Fierce Freedom about the importance of passing Safe Harbor on Spotify!

Wisconsin Child Sex Trafficking and Exploitation Indicator and Response Guide should be consulted if you have concerns that a child or youth you have contact with is being sexually trafficked or exploited.

Wisconsin Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force Guiding Principles is the philosophy adopted by the Department of Children and Families (DCF) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) that guides statewide programs and policies related to human trafficking.

Guidelines for an Effective Coordinated Community Response to Sex Trafficking of Youth intended to assist communities in identifying:

  • What community services should ideally be available to youth identified to be at risk for or experiencing sex trafficking
  • Provide guidance for the development of a community resource inventory and response plan

It Happens Here Documentary: The Department of Children and Families has created a documentary that tells the true stories of sex trafficking in Wisconsin and conveys how easy it is to be drawn into the life. This project is part of a statewide effort to inform youth and adults about the risk factors and warning signs of trafficking and what they can do to assist individuals who may be at risk of, or affected by, trafficking.

Click here for resources from the Wisconsin Anti-Human Trafficking Prevention & Awareness Toolkit

Learn More 

There is hardly anything more detrimental to a movement than an uninformed ally. Watch our Human Trafficking Foundations webinar that provides a foundational overview of human trafficking with an emphasis on sex and labor trafficking in Wisconsin.

Watch Now

Report Human Trafficking

If you believe you are a victim of human trafficking or may have information about a potential trafficking situation, please contact the U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline at 888-373-7888. If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, please call 911.

Report a Tip. Get Help.