What is Human Trafficking?
Human trafficking is modern-day slavery and involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act.
Human trafficking is a hidden crime as victims rarely come forward to seek help because of fear of the traffickers, and/or fear of law enforcement.
Traffickers use force, fraud, or coercion to lure their victims and force them into labor or commercial sexual exploitation. The coercion can be subtle or overt, physical or psychological, and may involve the use of violence, threats, lies, or debt bondage. Exploitation of a minor for commercial sex is human trafficking, regardless of whether any form of force, fraud, or coercion was used.
There is no single profile of a trafficking victim. Traffickers look for people who are susceptible for a variety of reasons, including psychological or emotional vulnerability, economic hardship, or lack of a social safety net. Trafficking victims come from diverse backgrounds in terms of race, color, national origin, disability, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, education level, and citizenship status, but one characteristic that they usually share is some form of vulnerability.
Trafficking victims are often isolated from their families and social networks and, in some cases, are separated from their country of origin, native language, and culture. Many domestic victims of sex trafficking are runaway or homeless youth and/or come from backgrounds of sexual and physical abuse, incest, poverty, or addiction. Traffickers exploit these vulnerabilities, promising the victims love, a good job, or a more stable life. The trauma caused by the traffickers can be so great that many may not identify themselves as victims or ask for help, even in highly public settings.
In Washington State felony human trafficking offenses include Human Trafficking in the First and Second Degree, Promoting Commercial Sexual Abuse of a Minor, Promoting Prostitution in the First and Second Degree and many other violent felonies that occur during the commission of human trafficking related offenses.
Kitsap County Prosecutor’s Office Human Trafficking Diversion Program
The Kitsap County Prosecutor’s Office recognizes that the women, men and children being trafficked are victims of their trafficker’s or “pimps.” We also recognize that these individuals often suffer from mental health or drug and alcohol issues. These issues often made them vulnerable to becoming victims, or they developed these debilitating issues as a result of being victimized. In order to offer these victims a better life, the Kitsap County Prosecutor’s Office has developed a Human Trafficking Diversion Program. This intensive program offers trafficking victims charged with crimes access to resources such as mental health treatment, chemical dependency treatment, and safe-housing.
Human Trafficking Diversion Eligibility Criteria
Recent Operations in Kitsap County
October 2017: Net Nanny Operation Returns to Kitsap County and Leads to 20 Arrests
February 2016: Arrests made in prostitution investigation
August 2015: Multi-agency Sting Operation
January 2014: 50 YEAR PRISON SENTENCE IN KITSAP COUNTY’S FIRST HUMAN
614 Division St. MS-35 Port Orchard, WA 98366
Special Assault Investigation and Victim's Services