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Advocating for Justice and Empowering Survivors: Fighting Human Trafficking in New York City

Human trafficking, a grave violation of human rights, remains a pervasive issue, both globally and in the heart of New York City. This horrific crime, often hidden in plain sight, affects countless victims every year. One of New York’s highest-rated sexual abuse attorneys, Michael S. Lamonsoff, Esq. has spent more than 25 years winning cases on behalf of survivors of sexual abuse, including rape, sexual assault, sexual molestation, and improper touching. At the Law Offices of Michael S. Lamonsoff we stand firm in our commitment to help survivors reclaim their lives, their freedom, and their dignity.

Human Trafficking for Sexual Purposes

Human trafficking for sexual purposes, also known as sex trafficking, involves the recruitment, transportation, harboring, or receipt of individuals through force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of sexual exploitation. It is a particularly prevalent form of human trafficking and a grave violation of human rights.

In sex trafficking cases, victims, who are often women and children, are coerced or deceived into engaging in commercial sex acts against their will. They may be forced into prostitution, pornography, or other forms of sexual exploitation. The traffickers exert control over their victims through physical and psychological abuse, threats, debt bondage, confiscation of identification documents, manipulation, and isolation.

Sex trafficking can occur within a country's borders (domestic trafficking) or across international borders (transnational trafficking). Victims may be trafficked within their own communities or transported to different regions or countries. They are frequently targeted due to their vulnerability, such as poverty, lack of education, gender inequality, or social marginalization.

The demand for commercial sex acts drives the sex trafficking industry. Traffickers exploit this demand by luring or coercing individuals into sexual exploitation, often through false promises of employment, education, or a better life. They may also manipulate victims through grooming, emotional manipulation, or drug addiction.

Efforts to combat sex trafficking for sexual purposes involve various strategies, including law enforcement operations to identify and prosecute traffickers, rescue and support services for victims, awareness campaigns to educate the public about the issue, and legislative measures to strengthen anti-trafficking laws and policies. International cooperation is crucial in addressing the transnational nature of sex trafficking and holding perpetrators accountable.

It is important to emphasize that the victims of sex trafficking are not consenting participants in the commercial sex industry but are forced, coerced, or deceived into exploitative situations. Protecting and supporting survivors, addressing the root causes, and challenging societal attitudes that perpetuate exploitation are essential in the fight against sex trafficking.

Understanding Human Trafficking Laws

Human trafficking is a serious global crime violating human rights. New York State fights this issue through its criminal justice system, with various statutes outlining human trafficking offenses. Victims have the opportunity to seek legal remedies, often through personal injury attorneys. These attorneys can target several entities involved in trafficking:

  • Individuals: Those who directly participate in human trafficking activities, such as recruitment, transport, or exploitation of individuals for labor or commercial sex acts through force, fraud, or coercion, can be held legally accountable.

  • Employers or Businesses: Employers or businesses found involved in human trafficking, knowingly or negligently, can face legal consequences. This includes businesses exploiting workers, particularly in industries like agriculture, hospitality, construction, and domestic work.

  • Organized Criminal Networks: These networks often carry out human trafficking on a large scale, sometimes alongside other illicit activities, making them liable to legal action.

  • Websites or Publications: Media outlets, such as websites and publications, facilitating human trafficking, for instance, by hosting ads for sexual services involving trafficked persons, can also be held legally accountable.

  • Hospitality and Transportation Industries: Businesses in these sectors, like hotels, motels, and airports, bus terminals and truck stops can be held responsible if found to have knowingly or negligently facilitated human trafficking.

  • Landlords or Property Owners: Property owners aware or should have been aware of their property being used for human trafficking may also face legal actions.

Besides federal legislation like the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA), New York State has its own laws providing additional protections for victims and imposing strict penalties on traffickers. New York's commitment to this critical issue is evident as one of the first states to create comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation."

How We Can Assist Victims

At the Law Offices of Michael S. Lamonsoff, we are dedicated to assisting victims of human trafficking in several crucial ways:

  • Legal representation: We provide robust, empathetic legal representation for survivors, helping navigate the complexities of the legal system.
  • Seeking justice and compensation: We vigorously pursue justice against perpetrators and strive to secure compensation for the profound harm victims have suffered.
  • Confidentiality and support: Our team understands the sensitive nature of these cases. We offer confidential, compassionate support throughout the legal process.
  • Working with law enforcement and NGOs: We maintain strong relationships with law enforcement and non-governmental organizations to ensure comprehensive assistance for survivors.

Unprecedented $16 Million Verdict Won by Top Sexual Abuse Lawyer Michael S Lamonsoff

Michael S Lamonsoff, Esq., achieved a groundbreaking triumph, securing a remarkable $16 million verdict in favor of a child who fell victim to sexual molestation by her teacher at a New York City school.

This remarkable victory emerged from an arduous legal battle, characterized by the obstinate refusal of the City's attorneys to extend any reasonable settlement offer to Mr. Lamonsoff's client prior to the trial.

Initially commencing with a mere $150,000, the City made a paltry offer of $350,000 to resolve the case just moments before the jury commenced their deliberations. In consultation with his clients, Mr. Lamonsoff made the resolute decision to reject the City's offer.

Motivated by their desire to hold the City accountable for their arrogance and to safeguard other children from enduring this abhorrent crime, Mr. Lamonsoff and his clients remained steadfast. Following a relatively brief period of deliberation, the jury unequivocally concluded that the Board of Education demonstrated a reckless disregard for the child entrusted to their care, resulting in one of the most substantial verdicts in New York's storied history.

Undoubtedly, this verdict cannot change the past, nor can any amount of money truly compensate the young girl for the unspeakable horror she endured.

Michael S. Lamonsoff

What Percentage of Survivors of Human Sexual Trafficking is not Reported

Determining the exact percentage of survivors of human sexual trafficking who go unreported is extremely challenging due to the hidden and illicit nature of the crime. It is estimated that the majority of cases go unreported, but the specific percentage can vary depending on the region, cultural factors, and other contextual elements.

Several factors contribute to the underreporting of human sexual trafficking cases, including:

  • Fear and coercion: Survivors often fear retaliation from traffickers, who may use threats of violence against them or their loved ones. The power dynamics and control exerted by traffickers can create a climate of fear and make reporting extremely difficult.
  • Lack of trust in authorities: Some survivors may lack confidence in law enforcement agencies or may have had negative experiences with the justice system in the past. This lack of trust can deter survivors from coming forward and reporting their exploitation.
  • Stigma and shame: Society's stigma surrounding human trafficking can cause survivors to feel ashamed or embarrassed about their experiences. They may be concerned about judgment or blame from others, leading them to remain silent.
  • Limited awareness and understanding: Many individuals may not be aware of the signs of human trafficking or the available support services. This lack of awareness can prevent survivors from recognizing their situation as trafficking or knowing where to seek help.
  • Barriers related to immigration status: Survivors who are undocumented or have uncertain legal status may fear deportation or other negative consequences if they come forward. This fear can discourage them from reporting their exploitation.

Due to these complexities, it is challenging to provide a specific percentage of unreported cases. However, it is widely recognized that human sexual trafficking remains significantly underreported worldwide. Efforts are continually being made by governments, organizations, and advocates to raise awareness, improve reporting mechanisms, and provide comprehensive support services to survivors, with the aim of encouraging more survivors to come forward and seek help.

Know Your Rights and Steps to Take

Knowledge is power. We provide resources to educate the public about the rights of human trafficking victims and the steps to take if you or someone you know is a victim. We believe in empowering survivors and those around them, creating a network of informed and vigilant citizens.

Contact Us Today

The team of sexual attorneys at The Law Offices of Michael S. Lamonsoff is a highly motivated and aggressive team that will fight for you and get you just compensation.   If you or someone you know is a victim of human trafficking and needs legal assistance, schedule your free, confidential consultation today.

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Are you a survivor of sexual assault or abuse that occurred years ago?

New York has recently passed the Adult Survivors Act, which allows victims that were at any age 18 or older, to now bring their abuser to justice. This includes the institutions that protected them.

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