Stand Up for Survivors: Decriminalize Victims of Human Trafficking

A recent survey of human trafficking survivors found that the vast majority had been arrested at least once during their trafficking experience. The crimes for which they were charged, ranging from drug sales, prostitution, to loitering, theft and other offenses, were likely orchestrated by their trafficker.

Despite successfully having escaped their traffickers, many survivors report that they are not truly free to rebuild their lives because of their criminal records.

Having a criminal record makes it incredibly difficult for human trafficking survivors to obtain employment, safe and affordable housing, loans, government benefits like food stamps, retain custody of their children, or gain acceptance into university or vocational school.

Some states have laws that provide a way for human trafficking survivors to have their records cleared, but most of these laws have significant flaws, restrictions, and loopholes. Some are only available if the survivor was a minor at the time of their arrest, or only if the arrest was for a specific type of crime like prostitution, for example. Many require survivors to go through processes that bring their past traumas vividly back to life.

Human trafficking victims are already forced to do the difficult work of processing their trauma and abuse. Making it possible and simple for human trafficking survivors to clear their criminal records is a step towards justice and healing.

Sign this petition today to urge state and national leaders to pursue and enact legislation that restores survivors' control of their futures by clearing their criminal records.
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