The Lifeguard Group will be launching its Montana Human Trafficking Hotline on Monday, November 16, the day the group will be appearing live on the KGVO Talk Back show.

Executive Director Lowell Hochhalter provided his description of human trafficking.

“We talk about human trafficking and its simplest definition is the exploitation of vulnerabilities,” said Hochhalter. “And so is those vulnerabilities of runaways, losing kids to homelessness, poverty, socio-economic struggles, and family breakdowns, they all feed in to the victims that we find on the back end of a rescue of human trafficking.”

Hochhalter pointed to the launch of the Montana Human Trafficking Hotline this coming Monday.

“Monday is a big day for us,” he said. “It's a day that we have worked very hard for and built a lot of great relationships across the state, but we have found through our work, that that massive scale of a nationwide network oftentimes leads to gaps in service for those of us in rural communities, such as Montana.”

Because of the rural nature of the state, the Montana Human Trafficking Hotline was conceived.

“We came up with the crazy idea to form a Montana Human Trafficking Hotline,” he said. “So it gives the opportunity for individuals in the state of Montana, whether they're being victimized themselves or they call on the behalf of someone who is being victimized. Then, they can report a human trafficking incident or what may look like a human trafficking incident that may be taking place.”

Hochhalter described the experience of calling the hotline starting Monday.

“When somebody calls that hotline number, starting at Monday at 11 o'clock, that's when that number goes live, they can expect to hear a live voice,” he said. “If they call in and want to talk voice to voice, or they can text that same number and get the same type of help, just via text or if they're in a place Let's say if they're in a hotel, and a victim has access to a business center or computer in a hotel. They can access the live chat portal at 406 stop.com”

The Montana Human Trafficking Hotline number starting Monday will be 1-833-406-STOP (7867).