Victims of sex-market trafficking are often criminalized under anti-prostitution statutes rather than protected under anti-trafficking laws. As a result, trafficking victims suffer ramifications resulting from both the exploitation of their captors and the social stigma of criminalization. The combined hardships make it exponentially more difficult for victims to overcome their past and safely reintegrate into society. This Article first identifies the sources of the double-victimization problem, including the perpetuated stereotypes regarding trafficking victims and the methods of exploitation, inadequate law enforcement training, and statutes that conflate sex-market victims with prostitution. Having identified the source of the problem, the author proposes a solution for double-victimization, including improved victim-identification training for law enforcement officers, an affirmative defense based on victim status, and improved application of expungement for those who are victims of the sex market and the criminal prosecution system.
When Is a Trafficking Victim a Trafficking Victim? Anti-Prostitution Statutes and Victim Protection,
64 Clev. St. L. Rev.
available at http://engagedscholarship.csuohio.edu/clevstlrev/vol64/iss4/6