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Medford human trafficking survivor shares her story

She says knowing victims' rights could have changed everything for her.

Posted: Apr. 11, 2019 11:27 PM
Updated: Apr. 11, 2019 11:37 PM

MEDFORD, Ore. -- A Medford woman is a survivor of human trafficking. This week is National Crime Victims' Rights week and she shared her story to help others. 

The Children's Advocacy Center of Jackson County, Community Works and the Distict Attorneys' Office came together to host a night dedicated to educating people on victims' rights. 

"Everybody knows the rights of somebody being arrested, the Miranda Rights, but nobody knows the rights that a victim has when they are experiencing victimization," Staysha Hackmann said.

Hackmann was a victim herself.

"I was first recruited into the life when I was 19-years-old," Hackmann said. "That's when I was first introduced into sex trafficking."

Ten years later and she is now a Sex Trafficking Intervention Coordinator for Jackson and Josephine County. It took about seven years for Hackmann to escape human trafficking.

"We chose her to come tonight, so she can tell our audience you can survive this stuff," Diana Hamilton, the Director of the Victims Assistance Program for the Jackson County District Attorneys' Office, said. 

Thursday night she shared her story and explained why it's important to know victim rights.

Hackmann said, "Making an awareness at events like this is important because if a victim of crime doesn't know how to access rights that they clearly have then they continue to perpetuate the cycle of abuse and victimhood."

The purpose of the event was to reach all crime victims and inform them of local resources and give them encouragement. There are more than 20 crime victims' rights in the U.S. Constitution, but many people don't even know the laws exist.

Hackmann didn't know the laws existed until it was too late.  She wishes someone would have told her about victims rights sooner.

"It could have changed everything," she said. 

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