Georgia Sex Trafficking Attorneys
People tend to have several misconceptions about sex trafficking. One assumption is that sex trafficking is rare in the United States. Unfortunately, this is not true. While the true scope of the problem is unknown and many cases go unreported, largely due to the illegal and secretive nature of the trade, it is known that sex trafficking is well-established in the United States. In Atlanta alone, sex trafficking is an industry that generates nearly $300 million annually.
A sting operation targeting sex trafficking was conducted across the United States in 2017 and resulted in over 1,000 arrests, which included a state trooper, a pastor and a convicted sex offender. The group behind the sting, the National Johns Suppression Initiative, said its operations have led to the arrests of nearly 8,000 sex buyers since 2011, according to CNN. Stories like this are a sobering reminder that sex trafficking is a reality in our country and that victims need protection.
At The Stoddard Firm, we provide legal representation to victims of trafficking to bring civil action against traffickers; the hotels, apartments, and massage parlors where the trafficking occurred; any bank that knowingly accepted / laundered the trafficker’s money; and any classified internet advertising website that solicited the trafficking.
What is Sex Trafficking?
It often occurs in illegal settings, such as prostitution rings, but it can also reside in otherwise “legal” operations, such as hotels or parlors. It can also involve third parties that facilitate sex trafficking, such as banks or certain online organizations.
Sex trafficking is essentially a form of slavery, one that involves abuses committed against those who are the most vulnerable. Often, the victims of sex trafficking are minors and immigrants, though people of all ages, genders and other demographics can also be subjected to sex trafficking.
Who are the Victims of Sex Trafficking in the United States?
Some populations are more vulnerable to sex trafficking than others. For example, a 2015 report from the State Department stated that populations more vulnerable to trafficking include:
- Children in the welfare and juvenile justice systems
- Runaway and homeless youth
- Children working in agriculture
- American Indians and Alaska Natives
- Migrant laborers
- Foreign National domestic workers in diplomatic households
- Employees of businesses in ethnic communities
- Populations with limited English proficiency
- Persons with disabilities
- Rural populations
- Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals.
In some cases, children or other victims in the United States are taken to foreign countries for sex trafficking. However, many of these cases happen entirely within our borders. The experiences and backgrounds of sex trafficking victims are varied. But the one thing that all victims have in common is the subjugation of their lives under the control of shameful traffickers. In the United States, we have systems in place and several groups willing to offer assistance to those subjected to sex trafficking. The Stoddard Firm is also here to help.
Representing the Interests of Sex Trafficking Victims in Georgia
While safe-harbor laws are designed to protect victims of sex trafficking, too many victims feel too intimidated by traffickers to come forward and seek justice. They have often been subjected to unspeakable physical and emotional abuses. Victims might fear retaliation from their abusers and, in some cases, fear being treated unfairly by authorities.
We are proud to stand up for the rights of our clients and do everything within our abilities to protect them from further suffering and intimidation. For example, we use the initials of clients’ names when possible, to avoid disclosure of their full names. We also put our connections and resources to work for immigrant victims to apply to stay in the country legally through special visa programs.
Our knowledge and experience in this area of the law provides us with the unique opportunity to assist victims of sex trafficking to seek compensation and find protection from traffickers. We understand that victims might be hesitant to come forward about the abuses they have suffered, but we encourage anyone who has been victimized by the abhorrent illegal sex trade in Georgia to reach out to the Stoddard Firm.
Even if you come to us seeking information and are unsure about taking legal action, we offer free consultations so you can better understand your options. Regardless of what legal action you are considering, you should remember that it never hurts to have additional information. To speak to one of our attorneys, reach out to the Stoddard Firm today.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Do I have a case?
If you’ve been injured because of someone else’s negligence, you could have a personal injury case. Every situation is different, so there’s no way to know if you have a case without consulting with a qualified personal injury attorney. If you are badly injured or a loved one has died, we are happy to speak with you and investigate the matter at no charge.
What do your services cost?
A consultation with the Stoddard Law Firm is free. In most circumstances, we earn no fee unless we win your case. If your claim is successful, we take a percentage of the recovered amount.
How much time do I have to file a lawsuit?
There is a time limit on how long a person has after an injury to begin a lawsuit. This window is called a statute of limitations. For most personal injury cases in Georgia, the statute of limitations is two years from the time the injury was suffered. However, there are exceptions and subtleties that might change the amount of time you are afforded. Sometimes the period can be as short as 6 months, and other times it can be much longer than two years. Determining the statute of limitations requires a detailed analysis of the facts of your case.
What can a lawyer do to help me?
Human trafficking is a horrendous crime that typically leaves its victims with long-term physical, mental, and emotional damage. Filing civil lawsuits can bring such victims healing and empowerment as well as financial compensation for economic and noneconomic damages. While money cannot solve every problem, it can reduce suffering and help victims become self-sufficient.
What kinds of compensation can I receive?
Significant forms of relief are available through civil lawsuits including compensatory, punitive, and statutory damages. Compensatory damages address matters such as lost income, medical bills, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life. Punitive damages can also be imposed to punish outrageous conduct, while statutory damages are provided for by law. A qualified attorney will examine your case to determine what compensation you may be eligible to receive.
Will I have to go to court?
At the Stoddard Firm, we approach each case as if we are going to trial. Fortunately, though, the case can be filed using your initials only to protect your privacy. Whether a trial ultimately results depends on how willing the other side is to legitimately compensate you for your injuries and losses. Settlement is the client’s decision.
How do I select a lawyer?
Look for an attorney that has experience handling cases similar to yours as well as a proven track record with similar claims. Take advantage of free consultations to meet with a potential lawyer to ensure that he or she is the right fit on a personal level. You need to feel comfortable with your lawyer and trust that he or she will zealously represent your interests.
How long will my case take?
Unfortunately, this common question has no standard answer, because each set of circumstances is unique. Each claim has many possible phases. There are procedural rules that govern the amount of time that it can take to move a case along. At the Stoddard Firm, we pledge to handle your claim as quickly and effectively as possible.