Thanks to a brave female survivor, our team in Iowa has been able to identify and share vital information that could lead to the prosecution of a perpetrator.
Our team began an investigation in summer 2021 after receiving a phone call from someone who said they were working with a potential victim of sex trafficking.
A Hope for Justice investigator followed up on the call and established contact with the survivor – a woman in her 30s from north-east Iowa. Naomi* told us that she was in need of help and that her traffickers knew where she was staying. In these initial conversations, it was clear that the survivor was scared to speak with law enforcement, because of the trauma that she experienced during her exploitation.
We contacted the United States Attorney’s Office (USAO) and the unit which provides assistance to victims of human trafficking. The USAO were able to assign a victim services specialist to the survivor.
Together, we provided Naomi with shelter, clothing, food and other vital services, following a meeting with our investigator and the victim services specialist.
One of our investigators said: “As we worked alongside this survivor, her trust in our team grew. As she became more comfortable, she courageously shared her experiences with us. We were able to support her as she told an FBI agent, who had been assigned to her case, what had happened to her. During this conversation, she named and identified her traffickers. The survivor also agreed to meet with a law enforcement agent if we would accompany her.”
Hope for Justice has continued to support Naomi. She is continuing to receive aftercare services and is moving forward in her ongoing recovery.
We recently handed this case over to the US Attorney’s Office for further investigation and possible prosecution.
*Name and image changed to protect identity of the survivor