• Petitioning Petitioning California State Senators & Assemblymembers

This petition will be delivered to:

Petitioning California State Senators & Assemblymembers
Chair of the Assembly Appropriations Committee
Assemblymember Gatto
California State House

Protect Victims of Human Trafficking: Support SB-327

    1. Petition by

      Forces For Sara

Human trafficking victim turned survivor, Sara Jessimy Kruzan (SJK), has been incarcerated for 19 years now. Sara was groomed by her trafficker beginning at age 11. By 13, she was raped and sold on the streets. Night after night, she was commercially sexually exploited for her abuser’s gain. By 16, she was forced to shoot her trafficker and was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. After exhausting her appeals, Sara had no other legal alternatives. Kruzan’s only recourse and defense was to use ‘intimate partner battering’ in order to petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus - her first opportunity to tell her story. However, her trafficker was not her ‘partner,’ he was not a boyfriend. 11 year-old children do not have 30-something year-old boyfriends, and they certainly cannot give consent to sex. Sara’s trafficker was a pedophile; an abuser; a monster. If SB-327 was in place, Sara could have utilized a Writ of Habeas Corpus sooner. By identifying herself as a human trafficking victim while identifying her abuser as a ‘trafficker’ and not as a ‘partner’ would have greatly affected the outcome of her sentencing, conviction, and aid Sara in her upcoming parole board hearing.

Problem:
Human trafficking is a criminal business that profits from enslaving people for forced labor or sexual servitude. In the United States, the average age of a victim when they are first trafficked for sex trade is 12 to 14 years old. Many victims are runaway girls or foster children who have suffered sexual abuse. Traffickers or pimps are master manipulators who gain a victim’s trust before forcing them into commercial sex acts and keeping them compliant through violence and drugs. California harbors 3 of the FBI’s 13 highest child sex trafficking areas in the nation: Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego. Trafficked victims often suffer physical abuse and psychology trauma similar to domestic violence victims. However, trafficked victims are not entitled to the same level of defense as domestic violence victims.

Due to a lack of awareness, victims of human trafficking are often not even recognized as victims and thus evidence surrounding their abuse related to the charges against them are not been considered in the court.

Existing Law:
Existing law provides that a writ of habeas corpus based on intimate partner battering may be prosecuted if evidence relating to intimate partner battering and its effects were not presented during trial court proceedings, and is of substance that had it been presented, there is a probability that the judgement of conviction or sentence would have been different.

Changes SB-327 would create:
This bill would make the same provisions allowed for victims of intimate partner battering applicable to sexually exploited and trafficked victims in cases where the trafficking of the victim was not introduced into evidence to include cases where the evidence was not competent or substantial and where such evidence may have changed the sentence not just the conviction.

 

“This bill would make those provisions applicable to cases in which competent and substantial expert testimony relating to human trafficking, as defined, and its effects was not presented to the trier of fact at the trial court proceedings and is of such substance that, had the competent and substantial expert testimony been presented, there is a reasonable probability, sufficient to undermine confidence in the judgment of conviction or sentence, that the result of the proceedings would have been different.”

"This bill would authorize the Board of Parole Hearings to report to the Governor, from time to time, the names of any and all persons imprisoned in any state prison who, in its judgment, ought to have a commutation of sentence or be pardoned and set at liberty on account of evidence that the prisoner was a victim of human trafficking at the time of the offense. The bill would also require, as part of the review to determine a person’s suitability for parole, the board to give great weight to any information or evidence that the prisoner was a victim of human trafficking at the time of the offense."

 

By supporting this bill, you will be ensuring that all the “Sara Kruzan’s” will be afforded the dignity and legal recourse to tell their story of abuse and correctly label their traffickers for what they are. Victims of human trafficking should not have to call their traffickers, their ‘partners’ in order to obtain their freedom and a sense of justice.

 

To read Senate Bill 327: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201320140SB327

 

To learn more about Sara Kruzan:
Website: IamSJK.org
Twitter: @ForcesforSara
Facebook: facebook.com/forcesforsara

 

Sara J. Kruzan wishes for her 19 years to be time-well-served; to bring about the change needed for human trafficking victims in the state of California.

 

Thank you for your support!

 

Supported by:
Forces For Sara - the Global Human Rights Campaign to Free Sara Kruzan and Sara's "I am SJK."

California Against Slavery (Sponsor)
Alameda Family Services
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees 
(AFSCME), AFL-CIO
Bridge Network
California Attorneys for Criminal Justice
California Catholic Conference of Bishops
California Public Defenders Association
Canvass for a Cause
Church State Council
Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (CAST)
Convergence Church
Crime Survivors, Inc.
Crisis House
Crittendon Services for Children and Families
Freedom from Exploitation
Generate Hope
Legal Services for Prisoners with Children
Mary Magdalene Project
Motivating, Inspiring, Supporting & Serving Sexually Exploited Youth
National Association of Social Workers - California Chapter
National Council of Jewish Women - California
Peace Officers Research Association of California
San Francisco Department on the Status of Women
San Francisco Women's Political Committee
♥ Sara Kruzan's I am SJK Campaign ♥
♥ Sara Kruzan's Team Forces for Sara ♥ 
Saving Innocence
Survivors for Solutions
Two Worlds Connect
Women's Transitional Living Center

 

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Reached 2,500 signatures
    2. Sara Kruzan's Bill SB-327 PASSED the Assembly Public Safety Committee

      Hello there! Great News...Sara's Bill SB-327 PASSED the Assembly Public Safety Committee on 6-18-2013!!!! It's moving on through.The bill is currently in the Assembly Appropriations Committee which is the "money" committee...they shall decide if this bill is "worth" the money being spent. And we can tell you that it most definitely is. These victims of this atrocious crime are WORTH it, every single penny. You cannot put a price on saving a human beings life by giving them a chance to tell their story. How did these victims get there? Sara Kruzan's bill SB-327 is a must; there are far too many survivors behind bars that are counting on the bill becoming law so that they may finally have a voice and explain what happened to them -- what led them there? Please read Senator Yee's press release here: http://sd08.senate.ca.gov/news/2013-06-18-case-sara-kruzan-inspires-protections-trafficking-survivors#sthash.H0Cx5eud.dpuf

      Join us: www.facebook.com/forcesforsara & www.IamSJK.com

    3. Reached 2,000 signatures
    4. Sara Kruzan's Bill SB-327 PASSED out of the Senate today: 33-5 Vote!!

      GOOD NEWS FreedomFighters! Sara's Bill SB-327 PASSED out of the Senate today on a 33-5 vote We are ecstatic!!! That vote was WAY stronger than expected...only 5 Noes! It is fabulous to hear that regardless of political party -- Democrat, or Republicans -- almost all the Senators DID THE RIGHT THING! (We did email them a support letter from our org and included 1,777 signatures from this petition to help.)

      NEXT UP: The Assembly!!! This entire process needs to be repeated in the Assembly. We don't have a date and aren't sure which Assemblymember will be carrying the bill for Sara & Senator Yee.....BUT we do know we will need to travel back to Sacramento to STAND IN for Sara. Her "voice" needs to be heard so that these lawmakers understand the need for this law.

      Can you help us help Sara? https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/3Uaqa

      Join us: www.facebook.com/forcesforsara & www.IamSJK.com

    5. Reached 1,500 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Maya Cunningham PEEKSKILL, NY
      • 3 days ago

      I was a victim of human trafficking and I want to support Sara and other girls like her.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Latasha Streets INDIANAPOLIS, IN
      • about 1 month ago

      Because these people have already been through a lot mentally, physically, and emotionally. I think that they should be able to feel safe if not just a little after being rescued. They are still human after all.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Diane Pinto HALIFAX, CANADA
      • about 1 month ago

      it's important to everyone

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Mary Meine VISALIA, CA
      • about 1 month ago

      These children are victims and MUST be protected!!! Human Trafficking is a crime and it is increasing every year!!! If the victim is forced to protect herself from further harm she should be able to do so without the fearing the threat of 'life in prison' when she has already been forced to serve time in an illegal prison!!!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Claudia Carlsen CANMORE, CANADA
      • about 1 month ago

      Free all women who have suffered atrocities and abuse that are dignity and soul destroying!!! They have a right to protect themselves against such perpetrators.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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