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 2016, BEFREE has generated 4,461 domestic text message conversations. Of the 3,808 BEFREE SMS conversations, 22% of them were conducted directly with potential victims. This is nearly double the 12% rate at which victims call into the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline. In addition, BEFREE conversations led to 3,631 substantive cases and 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