YES, SEX TRAFFICKING IS HAPPENING IN INDIANA
“The report of a case of sex trafficking came as a shock in this middle-class residential neighborhood of manicured lawns and stylish homes,” reported Rich Van Wyk of WTHR, referring to Whitestown, Indiana. Two have been charged in the sex trafficking investigation involving a 16-year old girl. A loaded gun, drugs and drug paraphernalia were found in the truck used to transport the victim to “clients’” homes.
An unusual occurrence? Unfortunately, no, according to an op-ed in the Indianapolis Star this April, in which Kevin Malone reported that, since 2007, there have been more than 1,700 calls to the National Human Trafficking Hotline regarding Indiana victims. Indiana is actually a hub for sex trafficking, Malone explained, partially because of the accessibility of interstate travel and the fact that our state is home to major sporting events.
Sexual victimization of a young person has numerous potential consequences that can last a lifetime, with some of the most common including:
- symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder
- psychological distress
- behavior problems
- low self-esteem
- social isolation
- maladjustment in school
- anger and aggression
- body issues
- eating disorders
- later sexual difficulties
- substance abuse
At the Ramey & Hailey law firm, where we do our part every day to help victims of sexual assault, abuse, and human trafficking, we know how very, very hard it is – for victims to relive the experience by talking about it with law enforcement and even with us. Yet we know that most teen victims will need professional help well into adulthood.
“Receiving the proper care for your mental health condition is essential to your recovery. The best treatments are the ones prescribed by a doctor or mental health practitioner,” according to Mental Health America. “ Unfortunately, visiting mental health providers and paying for many of these treatments can be expensive. Not all people have access to affordable insurance”.
Even after the rescue, the financial realities for the victim and her family are daunting. As personal injury attorneys for more than forty years, we know one truth: A criminal case may be brought against sex traffickers, and that action punishes the perpetrators and possibly helps defer future crimes. Only a civil lawsuit, however, is meant to – and has the power to – compensate the victim and her family, providing the cash needed to cover the extensive and long-lasting costs of therapy.