Polaris’s dataset is comprised of information obtained when people contact either of the helplines operated by Polaris in the United States of America: the National Human Trafficking Hotline or the BeFree Textline. The people who contact these helplines tell their own stories or relay the experiences of their friends and family members and as they do so, Polaris staff note key elements of each account. This information is then entered into their dataset. The staff of these helplines are focused on helping survivors of trafficking access critical support and services to get help and stay safe. While advocates use detailed protocol to look for indicators of trafficking, advocates adapt their phrasing and scope of questions in response to the individual’s answers and the circumstances of the call. Victims and third parties reporting these situations are not asked a set of standardized questions and only provide information that they feel comfortable sharing with Polaris’s staff to get the help they needed.
At present, Polaris is only able to contribute victim data from cases reported to the helplines since January 1, 2015 as the structure of data collected prior to this date is incompatible with the CTDC standard.
For more information about Polaris's data, visit Polaris's Organizational Profile.