Sex traffickers wreak havoc on their victims’ lives, forcing them into prostitution through a combination of threats, coercion and addiction. The lucky few who manage to escape the horrors of being trafficked find they face one more hurdle. They have a criminal record, even though they were the ones being victimized.
Joel Filmore escaped from his traffickers and earned an Ed.D. and an LCPC. Filmore, who is now an assistant professor of counseling at National Louis University, was able to use an Illinois law to vacate the crimes on his record. The law came into being so that victims, who had already been victimized once by traffickers, were not victimized again.