Human Trafficking

“Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of
those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that made it possible for evil to triumph.” (Author Haile Selassie). It’s time to raise our voices, say “no more” and end this culture of sexual violence and there are people who want to help.

No longer will perpetrators and complicit bystanders hold the power to silence
and hide the devastation they have caused. The power dynamic is shifting at this very
moment. Feelings of fear and isolation are morphing into strength and hope. Victims are
taking back the power and ending their silence. Many are doing so by filing lawsuits
against the perpetrator and others who had the ability and obligation to intervene, but
instead, turned a blind eye.

Some survivors may be intrigued by the idea of bringing a lawsuit to effectuate
this cultural change, but feel discouraged by challenges they foresee to taking legal
action. Through our representation of victims, we have learned that there are common
misconceptions that initially keep people from pursuing a lawsuit.

As lawyers representing Survivors, it is our intention to prohibit the ability of trafficking to continue. Step by step, industry by industry, we are committed to file lawsuits against these complicit bad actors to hold them accountable and end trafficking.

We are pursuing claims against the following industries:

  • Hotels
  • Truck Stops
  • Internet Websites
  • Car Services
  • Massage Parlors
  • Wiring/Banking Companies

In our experience, Survivors are energized by the possibility of having a role in this cultural
change, but feel discouraged by challenges they foresee to taking legal action. We are committed to
protect survivors’ interests. Here are some of the most common questions that we have received from our clients and advocates:

  •  Will my name be public? – most states allow trafficking lawsuits to be brought in
    pseudonym, for example, as Jane Doe, as opposed to under the Survivors name. There are
    also other avenues to protecting confidential information in the litigation with protective
    orders.
  • What if I cannot afford A lawyer? – Survivors do not pay any attorney fees up front. We
    only get paid if we are successful in bringing your case to resolution.
  • How do I prove my case? – In a civil lawsuit, your personal experiences are persuasive
    evidence, and unlike in criminal cases, the burden of proof only requires that more than 50%
    of the evidence points in favor of proving your claims.
  • Is it too late to get involved? – The federal trafficking law allows a claim to be brought
    within 10 years and some states have more time under certain circumstances.
    We are here to help survivors understand their rights. Contact us to learn more.

Click here for more about stopping human trafficking

About Andrus Wagstaff and Kim Dougherty

Kim Dougherty, a lawyer with a Masters in Social Work, is the Managing Partner of the
Boston Office of Andrus Wagstaff, PC. Kim has many years of experience as a women’s
rights advocate and is committed to representing victims of sexual violence. She has
litigated and resolved cases on behalf of women who have been harmed and lectures
regularly across the country on women’s rights and gender equity. As a past President of
the Women’s Bar Association of Massachusetts, Kim testified on many bills affecting
women’s rights, including bills to end discrimination and promote pay equity, bills to
protect pregnant workers and women at risk of genital mutilation, among others. She has
also volunteered to represent women pro bono in domestic violence cases. Kim and all of
her colleagues at Andrus Wagstaff, PC strongly believe that the power now rests in you.
They are actively representing people hurt by sexual violence and intend to right the
wrongs committed for decades.

Contact our firm

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National Mass Tort Attorneys
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