New York has become the latest US state to allow survivors of human trafficking to make their addresses private. The move is intended to protect them against violence or retaliation.
Survivors often attempt to escape such violence by moving, and this new law should help if their former trafficker tries to track them down.
“Victims of heinous crimes like sexual assault and human trafficking should not have to live in constant fear that their assailant could find and potentially hurt them again,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement.
Thomson Reuters Foundation reports:
Under the new law, victims of sexual offenses, stalking and human trafficking can participate in a confidentiality program that lets them keep their location private and use a substitute address provided by the state.
The confidentiality program, once limited to domestic violence victims, allows survivors to hide home, school and work addresses.
“We are providing much needed protections to these survivors,” said state Sen. Julia Salazar, the bill’s lead sponsor.
“This will prevent not just future physical violence, but additional emotional and psychological harm as well.”
While the majority of US states have confidentiality programs to protect victims of stalking, domestic violence, and sexual assault, there are only six that also extend these protections to survivors of human trafficking.
Last year, the national human trafficking hotline received around 500 reports of suspected cases of trafficking in New York. Nationwide, that number reached 11,000 calls.