Spotlight helps find kids faster.

“It is the greatest tool we have in the fight against human trafficking.”

— Special Agent, Wisconsin Human Trafficking Task Force

latest impact

According to our most recent user survey, Spotlight is helping find more child victims of human trafficking, faster. Used by officers in all 50 states and Canada, our web-based tool has helped in identifying 17,092 child victims of human trafficking in the past four years. With only a 25% average response rate, we’re confident these numbers represent the low end of our impact.

Reports from our users show that, with the help of Spotlight, law enforcement is identifying 9 kids per day on average and those who use Spotlight daily see over 60% in time savings. This combination of streamlining workflows and increasing successful victim identification is what has propelled Spotlight to continue to grow its user base.

Empowering law enforcement to collaborate beyond jurisdictions or national borders is a key to success in identifying victims who are moved frequently, or are broadcast through peer-to-peer platforms (P2P) on the dark web from a hidden location. Hear more from investigators using Spotlight on the front lines.

Pie chart showing that users of Thorn's Spotlight product save over 60% of critical search time on a daily average.
*All data from 2016-20 Spotlight user surveys covering the previous 12 months.


Average kids reached daily

Over 60%

time saved


Children identified

the challenge

The internet has made it easier for children to be bought and sold online. There are more than 150,000 escort ads posted every day in this country. Somewhere in that pile of data are children who are bought and sold online for sex. When we surveyed underage sex trafficking victims, 3 out of 4 who entered the life in the past decade said they had been advertised online at some point in their trafficking situation. How can law enforcement sift through massive amounts of data to focus their time on the most vulnerable victims?

Our Approach

Law enforcement doesn’t have enough time to navigate the online commercial sex market to find children and identify their traffickers. Spotlight takes this massive amount of data and turns it into an asset for law enforcement. The objective of Spotlight is to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of domestic sex trafficking investigations and increase the number of children who are identified and connected with help resources. Learn more about Spotlight.

Hear from our users

Success in the field

Using Spotlight to investigate human trafficking

Success in the field

This is what human trafficking looks like.

Success in the field

Inside Human Trafficking Investigations

Spotlight is like a investigative partner in human trafficking investigations. Spotlight does investigative work in minutes that can take hours sometimes to collect. Thanks to Spotlight I have returned victims to their families and put bad guys where they belong. Nothing makes my job more rewarding when a victim says "thank you" and tells me about her rebuilt life.


Spotlight is the #1 investigative tool I have utilized to find child victims and arrest their traffickers in countless cases. I can’t begin to tell you how appreciative myself and the victim's families are that we have people that support a worthy cause such as this.

Federal AgentPennsylvania

Spotlight is invaluable as a tool/resource. Spotlight can connect contacts in minutes where it would take me weeks, if not months to do the same thing. Please continue to fund this very important resource; it saves lives.

Criminal InvestigatorCalifornia

It is the Google Search for combating human sex trafficking. I get results fast allowing me to to gather important evidence and information in minutes compared to hours.

InvestigatorNew York

This tool will allow us to conduct faster, more precise investigations that will remove criminals from the street and, most importantly, recover victims.

Special AgentHawaii

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