Human trafficking is a sickening crime. Unfortunately, instances of human trafficking has increased in recent years and Texas is home to hundreds of thousands of human trafficking victims. Most people may believe they are far removed from human trafficking, but according to a study from the Institute on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault at the University of Texas at Austin, Texas is home to over 300,000 human trafficking victims, and approximately 79,000 victims are minors. Victims may feel they are alone and have nowhere to turn, but there are numerous resources available and all human trafficking victims have the right to seek justice through both civil and criminal proceedings.
Human trafficking occurs when an individual is coerced into prostitution, forced labor, or domestic value by deception or physical, emotional, or psychological means. Human trafficking can be thought of as modern day slavery, and as such the penalties are extremely severe. Anyone directly involved in human trafficking could face decades in prison, but any individual or business that is indirectly involved or complacent can also be held accountable.
Every person has a civil duty to report crimes taking place. Unfortunately, there are many other people and businesses that profit off of human trafficking. These include:
- Truck Stops – Some truck stops have earned a reputation for seedy activities that take place. Many human trafficking victims are taken to truck stops and forced to engage in sexual activities for money.
- Hotels, Motels, and other Housing – Cheap hotels, motels, and other housing is often used as the setting for human trafficking. Owners of these properties should report suspicious activity to law enforcement, but unfortunately some of them do not and instead continue to collect money for rooms rented for the purpose of sex trafficking.
- Back Page, Craigslist, and Social Media – Several website and social media networks are profiting off the advertisement and eventual sale of sexual services. These websites have a responsibility to block users who engage in this behavior.
Criminal charges can be filed against any individuals who engage in or are complicit in human trafficking. While criminal investigations and trials can put perpetrators in prison where they can’t hurt any more innocent people, criminal cases do not compensate victims for the pain they have suffered. Victims can pursue a civil lawsuit against culpable parties to help them obtain financial compensation. While no amount of money can take away the pain victims go through, but compensation can help pay for medical treatment and counseling that victims need to recover.
Learn Your Legal Options
At Blizzard Law, we understand how difficult a time this can be for you. That’s why our compassionate attorneys fight aggressively to get our clients justice. Our founder, Ed Blizzard, has had many substantial wins for sexual assault victims. There is no adversary too big for our attorneys. Mr. Blizzard took on the state of Texas in a negligent parole case where his client was sexually assaulted by a serial rapist after the state improperly released him on parole. This was the first and only time that the state admitted error and agreed to pay compensation. If you would like to learn how we can help or what your legal rights are, contact us today for a free, confidential consultation to discuss your case.