Sex trafficking robs individuals of their freedom and puts them in a system of coercion, violence, and abuse. Furthermore, the harm caused by sex and human trafficking can have lasting physical and mental health consequences for survivors.
If you or your loved one survived sex trafficking, a Bakersfield sex trafficking lawyer with Greenberg Gross can help you seek justice. We can pursue financial compensation from the individual or organization responsible for your damages and suffering. We can also take legal action against anyone who aided or turned a blind eye to those who harmed you.
Sex Trafficking in California
You may believe something as unthinkable as sex trafficking cannot happen in a community like Bakersville. But according to the State of California Department of Justice, the state is one of the largest sites of human trafficking in the United States. The department received more than 1,600 reports of human trafficking in California in 2018, more than 1,200 of which involved sex trafficking.
Trafficking does not have to include moving people across borders or out of the country. Trafficking is modern-day slavery in which a controlling group or individual coerces, threatens, or deceives a person into forced labor or sexual exploitation. Additionally, any form of commercial sexual activity with a minor is trafficking. It does not matter if the perpetrator says they did not use force or coercion because minors cannot consent.
Trafficking Is Illegal
Human and sex trafficking are against state and federal laws. According to California Code PEN § 236.1, any individual who violates another party’s liberty intending to obtain forced labor or services has committed human trafficking. Those found guilty may face a prison sentence and fines.
The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 outlines the federal response to trafficking. The act, which Congress has reauthorized and updated since its initial passing, created a framework for responding to human trafficking, including guidelines for preventing trafficking, prosecuting perpetrators, and protecting survivors.
While the state or federal government may charge your perpetrators in criminal court, our Bakersfield sex trafficking lawyers can help you seek justice in civil court. Civil action allows you to recover compensation for your financial losses and pain and suffering. Our attorneys will build your case with their knowledge of sex trafficking laws.
Sex Trafficking Can Have Devastating Consequences
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) reports that sex trafficking survivors can experience physical and psychological health problems associated with sexual exploitation. According to the agency, survivors often suffer unsanitary living conditions, poor hygiene, inadequate nutrition, and physical violence while trapped in servitude. In addition, survivors have little to no access to health care. As a result, they are at risk for a range of health conditions, including:
- Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including HIV/AIDS, genital herpes, or syphilis
- Infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis
- Undetected or untreated conditions, such as cancer or diabetes
- Infertility caused by chronic STDs or botched/unsafe abortion procedures
- Addiction and substance abuse
- Panic attacks
- Feelings of shame, humiliation, or denial
Trafficking can also have other far-reaching consequences. For example, survivors will never be able to recover the years lost to forced labor, during which they missed out on life experiences, time with loved ones, and opportunities to grow and develop as human beings.
Our Bakersfield Attorneys Can Hold Perpetrators Financially Accountable
We understand that no amount of money can erase what you have suffered. However, holding your perpetrator financially accountable can provide a measure of justice. Compensation can also ensure you have the resources to pay for medical treatment and get your life back on track.
Our Bakersfield sex trafficking attorneys can help you seek awards for:
- Medical expenses. Medical damages include all current and future care related to your sex trafficking injuries. We can pursue compensation for emergency department services, hospitalizations, doctor’s visits, mental health care, prescription drugs, surgeries, physical therapy, rehabilitation, and ongoing treatment.
- Lost income. Your physical injuries or mental and emotional state may prevent you from working. We can seek compensation for lost income and lost earning capacity until you can maintain employment.
- Pain and suffering. Pain and suffering damages provide monetary awards for intangible losses. We can seek compensation for mental anguish, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), insomnia, chronic pain, scarring, disfigurement, depression, permanent and disabling injuries, loss of career and educational goals, and loss of enjoyment of life.
- Punitive damages. According to California Code CIV § 3294, the court may punish a defendant with punitive damages where “clear and convincing” evidence of oppression, fraud, or malice exists.
Our attorneys can seek damages with a personal injury lawsuit against the perpetrator of your sex trafficking. We can also pursue a case against any person or business who contributed to or allowed the perpetrator’s actions, including:
- Truck stops
- Strip clubs
- Illegal brothels
- Bars, restaurants, or nightclubs
- Private homeowners
How Long do You Have to Take Action in a Bakersfield Sex Trafficking Case?
According to California Assembly Bill 15, trafficking survivors have up to seven years from the time they gained their freedom to pursue civil action. Survivors who suffered trafficking as minors have 10 years from the time they turn age 18 to file suit.
Our Bakersfield Sex Trafficking Lawyers Will Advocate for You
Greenberg Gross is focused on fighting for survivors of sex trafficking, abuse, and assault. Our team will represent you with professionalism, compassion, and respect. Let us navigate your legal issues so that you can turn your time and energy toward physical and emotional healing. We will:
- Identify all those liable for your suffering
- Collect evidence, including police reports, witness testimony, and medical records
- File your claims or lawsuits and handle all related deadlines and paperwork
- Prove your case for compensation
- Communicate with opposing parties on your behalf
- Fight for the most advantageous settlement or verdict available
- Represent you at trial if necessary
Contact Greenberg Gross Today for a Free Consultation
Contact Greenburg Gross for a free consultation and learn more about how our Bakersfield sex trafficking lawyers can stand up for you. We charge sex trafficking survivors nothing upfront or out of pocket.