Lisa worked hard in college and hoped she was well on her way to getting a great job that would launch her career. But the call never came.

Lisa knew why. She was young and naive when a man she met forced her to set up a “date” for commercial sex. The date turned out to be a sting operation and Lisa was arrested and convicted of prostitution. Her criminal record meant that most employers wouldn’t give her a chance.

Lisa is not alone. A recent survey by the National Survivors Network found that the vast majority of human trafficking survivors have criminal records as a result of their ordeals. And most of them report that those records have profoundly affected their lives, making it hard to rent a safe apartment, or get a good job. Some parents report not being able to attend their kids’ soccer games because they are technically convicted sex offenders.

Our new report grades states on their laws – and lack thereof – providing a path for trafficking survivors to clear criminal records. The report also provides a detailed set of best practices for states to improve their grades by enacting new laws or amend existing ones. We hope that this report serves as tools for policymakers and advocates to identify how best to draft, amend or implement state law.

Read the Report

The importance of getting a criminal record cleared for trafficking survivors cannot be overstated. Read our new report to truly understand the need for states to have a clear path for trafficking survivors to clear criminal records.

In Solidarity,

Bradley Myles

CEO

Polaris

P.S. Stay tuned for more information on local actions you can take to help get laws in your state enacted. Click here to see what grade your state received. 

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