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New Law Allows Sex Trafficking Victims to Clear Names
NY Times: A new law will give victims of sex trafficking a second chance by clearing prostitution convictions from their records. Often the victims of violent crime, and sexual assault, many girls and women are forced into prostitution against their will but often have trouble finding jobs after escaping, due to their criminal records.
"Gov. David A. Paterson has signed a law that will allow victims of sex trafficking to clear prostitution convictions from their criminal records. Advocates for sex workers said the bill, signed on Friday, is the first of its kind. It allows an individual to have a conviction vacated if she was forced into prostitution, and it also applies to related crimes like loitering.
It’s a hard reality that trafficked people are often arrested, convicted, and released without the justice system realizing what’s really going on,' Sienna Baskin, co-director of the Sex Workers Project at the Urban Justice Center, which helped write the bill, said in a statement.
A victim’s record can be a major impediment when applying for jobs, housing or immigration status, Ms. Baskin said. 'With this landmark legislation, New York has created a model that will help end treatment of these survivors as criminals,' she added.