Trafficking victims get data expunged with assist of Regent University law school

VIRGINIA Seashore, Va. (WAVY) – People pressured into human trafficking are generally pressured to dedicate an array of crimes.

It could be prostitution, theft or promoting drugs.

Now a Regent College software is looking to enable victims of human trafficking get their records expunged.

“I felt like I didn’t have nearly anything or everyone, so when an individual eventually claimed, ‘OK, I’ll aid you, I’ll acquire care of you,’ I didn’t realize what that really intended,” Olivia explained.

Olivia says she had a fairly usual childhood, but when she turned 18, she left residence and lived on a park bench. She states her trafficking journey commenced with thieving from shops and buying and selling prescription drugs.

“It’s not just prostitution, it is not just marketing sex,” Olivia explained. “It’s any and all the things a trafficker wants you to do.”

Olivia stated she was trafficked all above the nation, emotion like she didn’t have a selection but to do what her traffickers said.

“I utilised to pray everyday for the police to arrest me so I could last but not least end performing what I was accomplishing,” Olivia explained.

Following an undercover sting, Olivia invested 4 yrs in jail. She claimed her time at the rear of bars saved her everyday living.

“People say, ‘Oh, you realized it was unlawful, you realized it was completely wrong,” Olivia stated. “Definitely, I did, but I also understood what he’d do to me if I did not.”

Olivia is 1 of quite a few victims who, immediately after obtaining out of trafficking, has a large amount to face in lifetime with a extensive report pursuing her all-around. She is the initially survivor to have her file expunged with the assistance of Regent College.

“It’s not truthful, they didn’t have the intent to commit these crimes, and but the convictions stick to them,” stated Meg Kelsey, assistant director of the Center for World wide Justice.

Kelsey claimed a recently passed Virginia legislation will help victims get expenses that are a immediate final result of being trafficked taken off from their data.

The law only allows for two kinds of misdemeanors to be expunged proper now, but they’re advocating for extra.

“This piece of providing document relief, legal document reduction to a survivor,” Kelsey claimed, “is vital simply because even if a survivor is in a position to exit from the atrocity of staying trafficked that criminal record follows the survivor anywhere he or she may possibly go.”

The system assists victims get housing, move background checks when applying for careers, and even assisting victims get custody of their kids back – hoping to get rid of a actual physical and psychological barrier that could profit victims for the relaxation of their life.

“For quite a few of these victims, (it’s) a continuous reminder of who they have been or what they were compelled into, so to have these costs taken out, we hope it will help carry healing to them,” explained Dean S. Ernie Walton.

The courts aren’t knowledgeable of this regulation, so a lot of trafficking survivors aren’t aware that this law even exists. Which is why the college is trying to bring consciousness to it.

Olivia claimed now that her document is expunged, she’s hopeful people today will be equipped to see past the prostitution charges and will lastly be able to see her as an alternative.

“For it to be off my history, and for a judge to primarily say, ‘Yes, I am heading to take it off your record for the reason that I know we had been incorrect in the very first place to convict you, it is huge,” Olivia said.

If you would like much more facts on the Regent University application, click here.