Freeway travelers often need to make stops to use complimentary Rest Area facilities. Now, thanks to a unique partnership with the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), BEST has been able to install Not Alone human trafficking awareness signs inside restroom stalls at 46 Rest Areas along Washington interstate highways. According to WSDOT, the state’s Rest Areas receive over 24 million visits each year. So, not only is BEST’s human trafficking awareness messaging reaching more Washingtonians, but it’s also reaching millions of travelers who pass through the state while traveling on Washington’s freeways.
Individual Not Alone signs were placed inside restroom stalls, making it easy for victims of human trafficking to have access to read the signs while they are away from the eyes of their exploiters.
The purpose of BEST’s Not Alone campaign is to speak directly to victims of human trafficking to let them know that they are not alone. There is help available to leave a life of abuse and exploitation. By contacting the National Human Trafficking Hotline, victims of sex trafficking and labor trafficking can be connected with local social service agencies, human trafficking survivor advocates, or local police if a law enforcement response is requested.
The messaging on the signs has been translated into seven different languages, and the intention of the signs is to encourage victims to personally contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline via phone, text, or linking to the hotline’s website through a QR code with a smartphone. The hotline is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and 365 days a year with someone who can provide help and support for human trafficking victims in need.
BEST’s Not Alone signs are now up posted in the following Rest Areas across Washington state.
Getting this awareness raising messaging up in Rest Areas will connect more human trafficking victims to the services they need to escape their exploiters. Traffickers often go to great lengths to separate victims from their support systems and the places they are familiar with where they can receive help. Getting more signs into the places where victims who are traveling are most likely to have privacy from their traffickers is vitally important to helping more people know there is help available. And they are not alone.