Prevention & Education | June 16, 2017

Indigo: An Initiative to End Sex Trafficking in Omaha

Build awareness | Educate our community | Heal victims

Sex trafficking spikes at the Baseball Championship Series

The Baseball Championship Series brings an influx of baseball fans, spectators, and players into Omaha—and also an influx of pimps, victims, and johns. It is a well-known fact that whenever a city hosts a national event, the number of people being bought and sold for sex spikes dramatically. Many of those sex workers are under age or under duress. In fact, 10% of people being bought and sold for sex in Nebraska are under the age of 21. Many victims of trafficking are homeless youth and people impacted by domestic violence. Lacking the stability of a supportive family, they are at especially high risk of being exploited.

Bringing promise with Indigo

As a community, we can work together to end sex trafficking—and ensure that the road to Omaha is filled with promise, not exploitation.

Youth Emergency Services and the WCA have partnered to create an anti-trafficking campaign called Indigo. Indigo is a resource for building awareness, educating the community, and healing victims of sex and human trafficking in the Omaha metro area. Together we are providing victims age 17-24 with:

  • Food, clothing, and toiletries
  • Crisis counseling and emotional support
  • Emergency or transitional housing support
  • Education and employment support
  • TransportationMedical advocacy
  • Immigration and legal services
  • Case management
  • A variety of wellness programs
  • Family finding services

Together we can stop trafficking in our community

There are several ways that you, as a member of our community, can help. Anyone can learn to identify the signs and indicators of trafficking and immediately report activity to law enforcement.

  1. Realize that sex trafficking occurs in our community.
  2. Recognize the risks and indicators.
  3. Respond to end trafficking in our community.

For information about the Realize, Recognize, Respond campaign, please visit

Is someone I know at risk?

Individual Risk Factors

  • Alcohol and drug use
  • Delinquency, “missing from care,” homelessness
  • Developmental delays or deficiencies (social, emotional, language, cognitive)
  • Prior sexual victimization or perpetration

Relationship Risk Factors

  • Family environment characterized by physical violence and conflict
  • Childhood history of physical, sexual, or emotional abuse
  • Emotionally unsupportive family environment
  • Poor parent-child relationships
  • Involvement in or witnessing of violent or abusive intimate relationship

What are the possible indicators of trafficking?

Recognizing key indicators of human trafficking is the first step in identifying victims and can help save a life. Here are some common indicators:

  • Does the person appear disconnected from family, friends, community organizations, or houses of worship?
  • Has a child stopped attending school?
  • Has the person had a sudden or dramatic change in behavior?
  • Is a juvenile engaged in commercial sex acts?
  • Is the person disoriented or confused, or showing signs of mental or physical abuse?
  • Does the person have bruises in various stages of healing?
  • Is the person fearful, timid, or submissive?
  • Does the person show signs of having been denied food, water, sleep, or medical care?
  • Is the person often in the company of someone to whom he or she defers? Or someone who seems to be in control of the situation, e.g., where they go or who they talk to?
  • Does the person appear to be coached on what to say?
  • Is the person living in unsuitable conditions?
  • Does the person lack personal possessions and appear not to have a stable living situation?
  • Does the person have freedom of movement? Can the person freely leave where they live?
    Are there unreasonable security measures?

Note: Not all indicators listed above are present in every human trafficking situation, and the presence or absence of any of the indicators is not necessarily proof of human trafficking.

Take action if you get the sense a person is being trafficked.

  • If you are concerned someone you know is being trafficking, call 911 or the National Trafficking Hotline at 888-373-7888.
  • If person is 18 years or younger, don’t hesitate! Call Child Protective Services at 800-652-1999.
  • To connect a potential victim with services and support, please call the WCA hotline at 402-345-SAFE.
  • To learn more about services available to victims please call the Indigo Project Director at 402-345-6555 ext. 282.

Listen and try to understand.

  • Believe the information that is being shared with you; try to build trust and not determine facts.
  • Be patient and understand that people who have experienced trauma are not always able to share all that has happened to them all at once.
  • Understand that behavior is an expression of need; help to identify the need and do not be quick to label, judge, diagnose or be punitive.
  • Ensure that emergent needs are responded to by professionals who are able to help; people cannot share their story when needs for safety, food, housing, and security are not addressed.

Indigo is a partnership of Youth Emergency Services and the WCA. If you’d like more information about the program, you may call the WCA at 402-345-6555 and ask for Jessyca.