In the name of stealing away what few moments I can for reflection and restoration, I have remained fairly quiet on social media over the last couple of months. But today, I cannot remain silent. Today, I cry out for justice. Today, I plead with my community, I beg you—particularly those of you who have claimed commitment to anti-violence efforts, to rise-up for Hope.
Representative of the majority of survivors I have walked alongside over the last twenty-two years in the anti-trafficking movement, Hope is a young lady whose vulnerabilities in life were preyed upon and exploited. A minor victim of human trafficking herself, Hope remained under the control of a perpetrator who, as typical in trafficking situations, utilized her social media account to attempt contact with one of her peers. Thus, while the attempt was unsuccessful, and the perpetrator never made direct contact with nor exploited Hope’s peer, such interaction is deemed as “recruitment” under the action element of the crime of human trafficking. For this, there is an opportunity to prosecute Hope for human trafficking. For this, Hope—our daughter, our sister—who she herself was abused and exploited while in our state’s system of “care” and “justice” is charged.
As Hope did not behave as the “perfect victim,” but rather acted in a manner resulting from the trauma-bond formed with her perpetrator (typical for the great majority of human trafficking survivors) and without the proposal of alternatives, she was...