Are You, or Someone You Know, a Victim of Human Trafficking?
The woman beside you on the bus, the child on the street, and the sex worker in a local hotel ALL may be the victims of human trafficking. Men and boys are also a forgotten face of human trafficking, and account for 25% of cases. Look Beneath the Surface refers to a program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and speaks volumes about the reality of human trafficking.
Identifying Human Trafficking
We want to help. It can be difficult to realize who is a victim of trafficking.
If you or someone you know answers “yes” to one or more of the questions below, you or that person may be a victim of human trafficking.
- Has your freedom of movement been limited, or are you allowed to move around only when someone guards you?
- Do you feel like there is no way out?
- If you are addicted to drugs or alcohol, is someone using your addiction to make you do things you would not like to do?
- If you are in this country illegally, is someone using your status to make you do things you don't want to do?
- Is someone using your homelessness, lack of funds, or other problems to make you do things you would not like to do?
- Is someone threatening to call the authorities if you don’t do as you are told?
- Have you been physically abused for failing to do as you're told?
- Has someone made threats against you or your loved ones?
- Do you fear for your safety or the safety of your loved ones?
- Have you worked and been paid unfairly but can’t do anything about it?
- Has someone told you not to talk about your life or told you not to get help?
Human Trafficking Law
Human trafficking is a serious crime, but the criminal prosecution of those who benefit from trafficking does not always result in providing victims with appropriate restitution. If you suspect that you or someone you know is the victim of human trafficking, we are here to help.
In 2008, Congress amended federal law to allow lawsuits against “whoever knowingly benefits, financially or by receiving anything of value from participation in a venture which that person knew or should have known has engaged in an act in violation of…laws prohibiting peonage, slavery, forced labor, and trafficking.”
As a result, if you or someone you know is a victim of human trafficking, you may recover damages not only from the traffickers, but also from third parties who knowingly benefited from the trafficking. This may include motel/hotel owners, doctors, labor recruiters, and others. These lawsuits permit both compensatory and punitive damages. Victims and survivors frequently file other claims alongside the federal law, including claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act, state wage and hour laws, intentional infliction of emotional distress, false imprisonment, conversion, and breach of contract. While many settlement amounts are undisclosed, known settlement and damage awards since 2003 total $108,657,807.75.
Please call our office at (562) 203-1123 or contact any of the referral agencies listed below. There is help available.
Andrea Cook & Associates wants to empower victims and survivors to assert their legal rights and choose appropriate remedies to rebuild their lives. Our goal is to work collaboratively with you in advising and directing you regarding your legal rights and to ensure your safety. We seek to provide victim-centered legal representation that is culturally sensitive.
- Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking: https://www.castla.org/about/services/
- LA County Human Trafficking Resource Page: https://lacounty.gov/human-trafficking/
- Journey Out: https://journeyout.org/
- LA Regional Human Trafficking Task Force: http://lahumantrafficking.com/about-us/
- National Human Trafficking Hotline: http://lahumantrafficking.com/about-us/
- Children of the Night: https://www.childrenofthenight.org/contact