Human TraffickingResourcesWomen's Project

How Do I Know if Expungement will Apply for Me?


Indicators of Trafficking

Many victims do not self-identify as victims. If any of these apply to you or someone you know, contact Sasha Naiman ( or 513-421-1108 x 20) for help with expungement.

These are some questions to ask when considering whether expungement, under the Safe Harbor Law, may apply to a criminal record.


  • Did anyone ever pressure you to engage in any sexual acts against your will?
  • Did anyone ever force or pressure you to engage in sexual acts with friends or business associates?
  • Did anyone ever take photos or videos of you and if so, what did they use them for? Were these photos ever sent out or posted online?
  • Were you required to earn a certain amount of money/meet a nightly quota by engaging in commercial sex for someone? What happened if you did not meet this quota?
  • How old were you when you were in this situation?
  • Were you ever transported to different locations to engage in commercial sex? Where were you taken and who transported you?
  • Who decided whether or not you used a condom during sex acts?
  • How did you meet your [boyfriend/pimp/controller]?
  • Did the controller set up appointments for you at hotels or tell you which streets to work on?
  • Did the controller tell you when you had to start ‘working’ and when you could stop?
  • Did you keep all the money you made? If not, who took it?
  • Did the controller move you around to different locations?
  • Did your controller/pimp/partner/family member ever ask you to engage in commercial sexual acts in order to “help the relationship/the family”?

Being recruited, lured, enticed

  • Were you told false promises concerning the nature and conditions of your work, interaction, housing, etc?
  • Were you offered free or low-cost housing, clothes, drugs, or other gifts initially?
  • Was there a friend, pimp, manager, “boyfriend”, or family member who first suggest that you make money through commercial sex?

Working and living environment

  • What was your working or living conditions like? Was it what you had expected?
  • Could you change or leave your job or living situation if you wanted?
  • Could you come and go as you please?
  • Where do you sleep and eat? Do you sleep in a bed, on a cot or on the floor? Did you live with co-workers and “employer” ? Was
  • there privacy?
  • Were you unpaid, paid very little, or paid only through tips?
  • Were you free to take time off?
  • Did you work for days or weeks without a break? Were there excessively long and/or unusual hours?
  • Were you monitored or unusually restricted? Were there high security measures in the work and/or living locations (e.g. opaque windows, boarded up windows, bars on windows, barbed wire, security cameras, etc.)?
  • Were you moved or rotated to different establishments?

Physical harm and restraints

  • Have you been physically harmed in any way? Hit, slapped, punched, kicked, strangled?
  • Do you have scars, burns, or other physical marks caused by the pimp/boyfriend/friend?
  • Have you ever been deprived of food, water, sleep or medical care?
  • Did you have to ask permission to eat, sleep or go to the bathroom?
  • Were there locks on your doors and windows so you cannot get out?
  • Has your identification or documentation been taken from you?
  • Is anyone forcing you to do anything that you do not want to do?
  • Did you ever have to suffer any untreated illnesses and infections? Did you have to get permission to seek medical help?
  • Were you ever pressured to terminate a pregnancy?
  • Were you forced or pressured to use drugs, e.g., so you would work longer without breaks or so you would comply with the controller’s demands? Were drugs/addiction a means of control?
  • Was sexual violence normalized?
  • Were you ever confined, locked in a room, or denied access to your home?

Physiological/emotional harm and restraint

  • What would you be told if you indicated that you did not want to engage in commercial sex or did not do what the controller asked you to do?
  • Have you been threatened if you try to leave?
  • Has anyone threatened your family or pets?
  • Did you feel fear, duress, or intimidation?
  • Did you feel depression, anxiety, the need to be submissive, constant tension, nervousness?
  • Did you comply or not seek help because of fear?
  • Were you humiliated in front of others by the controller?
  • Were you called names?
  • Were you told that the controller is the only person who cares for you or is the only person who would support you?
  • Did the controller make light of the abuse or exploitation?
  • Did the controller deny that anything illegal, abusive, or exploitive was happening?
  • Were you blamed for the situation, the abuse, etc?
  • Have you ever seen any other person being physically harmed by the controller or anybody else?
  • Did the controller use or display weapons?

Isolation, monitoring, and lack of control

  • Were you restricted from seeking help?
  • Did you get to keep your identification documents?
  • Were you rarely alone? Did you feel like you were under constant surveillance?
  • Were you accompanied when you went outside, to the store, or to the doctor?
  • Could you see your children, family, and friends as you pleased?
  • Were you coached on how to speak to police?
  • Did you have few or no personal possessions? Did you share clothes, beds, or personal care items?
  • Were you in control of your own money, no financial records, bank account, or identification documents (ID or passport)?
  • Were you not allowed or able to speak for yourself in certain circumstances?
  • Did anyone ever withhold financial support when you disobeyed?

Economic Abuse

  • Did you feel like you always owed money to the controller for housing, drugs, etc – that could never be repaid?
  • Did someone take the money you earned?
  • Did someone take over your bank accounts or use your checks/accounts without your permission?
  • Were you denied access to finances or given only a small allowance?