Failed Interventions: Domestic Violence, Human Trafficking, and the Criminalization of Survival

November 2021

Michigan Law Review


“Over the last decade, state legislators have enacted statutes acknowledging the link between criminal behavior and trauma resulting from domestic violence and human trafficking. While these interventions take a step in the right direction, they still have major shortcomings that prevent meaningful relief for survivor-defendants. Until now, there has been no systematic overview of the statutes that require courts to consider a defendant’s history of trauma in the contexts of domestic violence and human trafficking. There has also been no attempt to explore how these statutes relate to each other. This Note fills those gaps. It also identifies essential elements future statutory interventions in these contexts must include in order to grant effective relief to survivor-defendants. These reforms are essential to create a legal system that does not criminalize surviving domestic violence and human trafficking.”

Read this report here