Responding to Child Victims of Human Trafficking - Vermont

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State Agency Responsibilities

Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 33, § 4915

Upon receipt of a report of abuse or neglect, the Department for Children and Families shall promptly determine whether it constitutes an allegation of child abuse or neglect as defined in § 4912 of this title. The department shall conduct an investigation when an accepted report involves allegations indicating substantial child endangerment. For purposes of this section, 'substantial child endangerment' includes conduct by an adult involving or resulting in sexual abuse and conduct by a person responsible for a child's welfare involving or resulting in abandonment, child fatality, malicious punishment, or abuse or neglect that causes serious physical injury. The department may conduct an investigation of any report.

The department shall report to and receive assistance from appropriate law enforcement in the following circumstances:

  • Investigations of child sexual abuse by an alleged perpetrator who is age 10 or older
  • Investigations of serious physical abuse or neglect requiring emergency medical care, resulting in death, or likely to result in criminal charges
  • Situations potentially dangerous to the child or department worker
  • An incident in which a child suffers any of the following:
    • Serious bodily by other than accidental means
    • Potential violations of any of the following:
      • Title 13, § 2602 (lewd or lascivious conduct with child)
      • Title 13, chapter 60 (human trafficking)
      • Title 13, chapter 64 (sexual exploitation of children)
      • Title 13, chapter 72 (sexual assault)

Training Requirement

This issue is not addressed in the statutes and regulations reviewed.

Diversion From Prosecution

Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 13, § 2652

A person who is a victim of sex trafficking shall not be found in violation of or be the subject of a delinquency petition based on chapter 59 (lewdness and prostitution) or 63 (obscenity) of this title for any conduct committed as a victim of sex trafficking.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a person younger than age 18 shall be immune from prosecution in the Criminal Division of the Superior Court for a violation of § 2632 of this title (prohibited acts; prostitution) but may be treated as a juvenile under title 33, chapter 52, or referred to the Department for Children and Families for treatment under title 33, chapter 53.

If a person who is a victim of sex trafficking is prosecuted for any offense or is the subject of any delinquency petition other than a violation of chapter 59 (lewdness and prostitution) or 63 (obscenity) of this title, which arises out of the sex trafficking or benefits the sex trafficker, the person may raise as an affirmative defense that he or she committed the offense as a result of force, fraud, or coercion by a sex trafficker.

In a prosecution for a violation of this section, the victim's alleged consent to human trafficking is immaterial and shall not be admitted.

If a person who is a victim of human trafficking is younger than age 18 at the time of the offense, the State may treat the person as the subject of a child in need of care or supervision proceeding.

Services and Supports for Victims

This issue is not addressed in the statutes and regulations reviewed.

Support for Anti-Trafficking Efforts

This issue is not addressed in the statutes and regulations reviewed.