ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) and state Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) announced new online resources aimed at human trafficking reports to New York State. These resources include a new digital handbook and an eReporting system that allows electronic submission of reports.

Published on OTDA’s website, the handbook provides a comprehensive look at trafficking, including how to identify and screen victims, how to provide trauma-informed care, and how to navigate the state’s referral process. In addition, the 23-page guide provides information about the state’s Response to Human Trafficking Program, the New York State Interagency Task Force on Human Trafficking, and vital contacts to assist victims.

The eReporting system allows law enforcement and established legal or social service providers to electronically submit human trafficking cases to New York’s victim referral process. Previously, the only method to submit a report was sending the form via fax.

“Service providers and advocates can often be the first point of contact for victims of human trafficking, so it’s important that they recognize the nuances of this crime and how to properly refer these cases,” said OTDA Commissioner Mike Hein, co-chairman of the New York State Interagency Task Force on Human Trafficking. “By raising awareness of the referral process and making it more accessible, we can effectively help a greater number of these victims access a wide breadth of vital assistance that can help them become self-sufficient.”

Anyone who suspects they may be a victim or a witness to human trafficking is encouraged to call the Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1-888-373-7888 or text “HELP” to 233733 (BeFree). Additionally, help for victims is also available through the Office of Victim Services