Human trafficking is a devastating crime affecting communities everywhere in this country, including your own backyard.
Women and girls can end up forced into the sex trade for a variety of reasons, including false promises of a better life — perhaps in a safer place with a good job. They may be offered jobs as nannies, models, dancers, or waiters in vibrant cities that seem to present the opportunity to break free from the chains of poverty. Men and boys could be offered construction or farming jobs that similarly promise steady wages.
We get it. All you wanted was a way out – a way to a different life.
It doesn’t matter if you were a high school student looking for excitement, if you ran away from home and needed a place to sleep, or if you were offered drugs or alcohol — you are not at fault.
The companies behind the people who took advantage of you are at fault, and it’s time to hold them accountable through civil legal action
Why take legal action, now?
1. If you were sold for sex and forced to do things against your will, even if you initially consented or had a fake ID, you were trafficked and everyone who profited off you acted illegally.
2. Your pimp was just the point person for a network of people and businesses that made millions off the business of human trafficking.
3. Many online companies like Backpage.com, as well as hotels, transportation services and others, looked the other way or even supported and encouraged trafficking both on and offline. They did it for the money.
4. Under U.S. federal law, any minor under the age of 18 lured into paid sex work is a victim of sex trafficking—regardless of whether or not the trafficker used force, fraud, or coercion. That means that if you met someone online or at the mall and he (or she) initially pursued you romantically and you were a willing partner, YOU HAVE STILL BEEN TRAFFICKED.
5. You have also been trafficked if you were lured into sex work with promises of a job, such as modeling, acting or dancing. The trafficking could have started online or at a hotel, truck stop, fake massage business or elsewhere. There is no location that makes trafficking legal.
6. By speaking up and taking legal action now, you will not only help yourself but will also potentially help other women, men and children who may be in harm’s way.
Businesses in the hospitality industry are prime territory for sex traffickers, because they can take advantage of the privacy and anonymity offered to guests, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Hotels and motels are examples, but sex trafficking also can occur at theme parks, cruise ships, resorts, and nightclubs.
Traffickers advertise online, through escort services, or even word of mouth, directing “customers” to the hotel or other business. The victims are restricted to the rooms, unable to leave and left to be exploited.
There are tell-tale signs that a hotel or other establishment is being used for sexual exploitation, according to DHS. These include women who have no control over their possessions or ID, rooms that request housekeeping services such as towels and linens but deny entry, and individuals lacking freedom of movement or they’re constantly monitored.
When businesses look away and ignore what’s happening on their premises, this is negligent behavior that enables sex traffickers to continue their exploitation. It’s wrong and the businesses need to be held accountable.
Together we can stop human trafficking, and one way to try to do that is to show these facilities that they can no longer turn a blind eye to what’s happening under their roofs.
Contact us to find out how we can help you.