Thorn partnered with the Polaris National Human Trafficking Hotline, Twilio and the Salesforce Foundation to integrate a text shortcode for the national human trafficking hotline number. The BEFREE (233733) text shortcode gives people who are being exploited a more discreet way to reach out for help while being exploited by a controller, giving them access to request assistance 24/7 all year long.
From the launch of the BEFREE Texting Helpline through June 2017, BEFREE has generated 5,510 text message conversations. Of these conversations, 16% were conducted directly with potential victims. Potential victims self reported in 53% of trafficking cases using SMS compared to only 22% using other forms of communication. In addition, BEFREE conversations led to 4,358 substantive cases in the U.S. and abroad, along with 18 potential victims extracted.
While the goal of the BEFREE shortcode is primarily to help victims of sex trafficking, it has also been used to empower individuals who are a witness to a sex-trafficking related crime. Many people who see something may not know what to say, or who to speak to. The BEFREE shortcode has helped create another outlet that allows people to take action when they see suspicious behavior.Learn More