“Learning that a
woman has been in prostitution should create a presumption that she is a
trafficking victim.”--Lawyer’s Manual on Human Trafficking: Pursuing Justice for Victims
Why Use Pre-Court Diversion?
It is an unfortunate reality that trafficking victims who
encounter law enforcement risk incurring criminal charges. While a majority of victims have endured
various forms of violence and sexual exploitation at the hands of pimps and
traffickers, the very nature of sex trafficking requires that these same
victims engage in illegal activity – prostitution.
Using pre-court diversion enables law enforcement to intervene on a victim’s behalf, diverting them to community-based, victim-centered programs instead of pushing them through the criminal justice system. It's not just about punishment and consequences. It's about finding cost-effective, efficient, and lasting solutions to end sex trafficking and prostitution.
How Does Pre-Court Diversion Work?
Diversion occurs at the local level. When law enforcement takes advantage of Breaking Free's diversion program for victims of prostitution and sex trafficking, they are helping victims take the first step out of “the life.” Diversion utilizes re-education, rehabilitation, and case management, helping victims avoid both criminal charges, as well as the collateral consequences that result from a criminal history.
To learn more about pre-court diversion and how Breaking Free can partner with your agency to help victims of sex trafficking, please contact us.