BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Louisianans can report suspected child sex trafficking to the state Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) using a new hotline.
The new hotline, which launched on Jan. 1, is toll-free and open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. All cases reported on the hotline will be forwarded to the Louisiana State Police. DCFS says that if the report includes parental or caretaker allegations then it will investigate.
“Having a central point for receiving these calls is a vital advancement in the State’s work of protecting children,” said DCFS Secretary Terri Ricks. “Combatting the crime of human trafficking and ensuring children are brought to safety requires the efforts of multiple agencies and partners across the state. This hotline strengthens that network by allowing us all to work each case from a single entry point.”
Callers can contact the general child abuse and neglect hotline at 1-855-452-5437 and select option four.
DCFS says signs of juvenile sex trafficking can include:
- The child has a history of sexually transmitted diseases
- The child has run away more than three times
- The child refers to anyone besides their father as “Daddy”
- The child has posed for sexually explicit material online
Callers have the option to remain anonymous but DCFS will need the following in order to launch an investigation:
- Names, dates of birth and ages of all individuals involved
- Contact information such as an address for those involved
- When the caller became aware of the alleged sex trafficking
- Information on an adult’s behavior, employment, criminal history, etc
- General parenting practices
More information on how to report or look for signs of juvenile sex trafficking can be found here.