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H.E.A.T. Watch – Stop Human Exploitation and Trafficking

Alameda County H.E.A.T. Watch Tip Line:
Office of the District Attorney, Alameda County
Nancy E. O'Malley, District Attorney

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Billboard Campaigns

The 2018 HEAT Watch billboard campaign confronts the reality about human trafficking in Alameda County:

that it’s real and it’s here.

The campaign is designed to encourage the public to recognize that human trafficking – both sex trafficking and labor trafficking – is a significant issue in our communities.

Human Trafficking here:

From 2016-2017:

  • There were over 4,000 calls to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline in one year in CA alone
  • 1331 cases reported in CA
  • 9,000 IMB’s in the nation, with 1/3 in California, 200 in Oakland

Sex Trafficking here:

As of January 1, 2018 our SafetyNet program had served 762 CSEC and vulnerable youth since 2011.

  • 98% of CSEC victims are female
  • 1% of CSEC victims are Male
  • 1% of CSEC victims are transitioning
  • 63% of CSEC victims are African American
  • 15% of CSEC victims are Latina
  • 35% of CSEC victims experienced prior sexual assault/sexual exploitation, 75% experienced victimization

Of Bay Area sex buyers surveyed:

  • 47% of sex buyers were married
  • 40% of sex buyers are white
  • 61% had incomes over $60K/year
  • 10% of sex buyers have bought sex more than 50 times
  • 35% of non-sex buyers would pay for sex “if circumstances were right”

Labor Trafficking here:

One study from UC San Diego found that 28% of undocumented workers have been victims of trafficking.

  • 36% of undocumented janitorial workers have been victims of trafficking
  • 35% of undocumented construction workers have been victims of trafficking
  • 32% of undocumented food processing workers have been victims of trafficking

From 2015-2017, the Alameda County DA’s office served 87 labor trafficking victims.

  • Currently, we are working on cases to serve over 150 more victims of labor trafficking.

Under the leadership of District Attorney Nancy E. O’Malley, the HEAT Watch Program of the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office is combatting human trafficking of all forms in Alameda County through training, community awareness, survivor services, and policy advocacy. However, as DA O’Malley states, “It takes a village to rescue a victim and prosecute a trafficker.”

Our aim for this billboard campaign is to serve as a platform for discussion for the community. To learn more about what you can do, follow these steps:

1. Get educated.

2. Spread the word.

3. Get involved.

This awareness effort will be complimented by a series of intelligence-led geo-located Facebook advertisements developed by STOP THE TRAFFIK in collaboration with BAATC and Western Union Bank. The advertisements have been developed around intelligence direct from local sources, identifying specific vulnerabilities in three of the Bay Area’s human trafficking hubs: Oakland, San Francisco, and San Jose. Read about exploitation in the Bay Area. Look out for awareness raising posters in ten Western Union Bank locations across Oakland over the same period.

We are also fortunate to work collaboratively with our valued community partners in Clear Channel Outdoor. They support the work we do in the community and help get out message out to a broader audience.

Protect Oakland Kids - Billboard Campaign

In 2014, the Alameda County DA’s H.E.A.T. Watch Program, Mentoring, Inspiring, Serving and Supporting Sexually Exploited Youth, (MISSSEY), and Clear Channel Outdoor launched this billboard campaign in January 2014 in recognition of National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. The campaign promoted local resources for victims of child sex trafficking and educated the public about ways they can help exploited youth. Human trafficking is a very real problem in California (it is the fourth most populist destination for human trafficking in the country).

Our campaign was the recipient of a 2015 NACO award, and the 2015 Savvy Silver Circle Award from the City-County Communications and Marketing Association (3CMA) in the Most Innovative category.

Thanks to the success of the 2014 campaign, ACDAO along with Clear Channel and other local organizations, relaunched another billboard campaign in 2015. It is estimated that, combined, two campaigns received over 10 million impressions.

For more information on the campaign, check out