Polaris has released state by state numbers from their Human Trafficking Hotline, and calls reporting human trafficking in Montana were fewer in 2016 than in 2015.

Spokesperson Vanessa Chauhan said Polaris, a group dedicated to eradicating human slavery worldwide, has operated the Human Trafficking Hotline for the past nine years.

“What we have noticed with the release of this year’s stats is that we saw a record increase in the number of human trafficking cases from across the U.S.” Chauhan said. “Additionally, we had more calls from survivors requesting resources and assistance. In addition, we’ve received a significant increase in the number of calls reporting labor trafficking. In the past, the emphasis has been on sex trafficking, so it’s exciting to see so many calls about labor trafficking.”

Chauhan laid out the numbers for Montana.

“In 2016 we received 52 calls where the caller identified that they were calling from Montana,” she said. “Out of those 52 calls, 15 of them referenced individual cases of human trafficking. As a point of comparison, in 2015, we received 66 calls with 19 reports of human trafficking.”

Chauhan said it’s a priority for stakeholders to educate others to raise awareness about sex and labor trafficking through the Human Trafficking Hotline.

The hotline number is 1-888-373-7888, or use the Polaris Text-messaging line which is 233733, or use the short code ‘Be Free’.