Victim-Offender Overlap in Trafficking in Persons for Sexual Exploitation


Flinders University PhD candidate and member of ACRATH, Alexandra Louise Anderson Baxter, recently published a paper entitled When the Line between Victimization and Criminalization Blurs: The Victim-Offender Overlap Observed in Female Offenders in Cases of Trafficking in Persons for Sexual Exploitation in Australia. Between 2004 and 2015 nine females were convicted under divisions 270 (Slavery and slavery-like offences) and 271 (Trafficking in Persons) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth). Of these nine females, six involved sexual exploitation. In reviewing the judges’ sentencing remarks Baxter discovered two emerging themes which she categorized as “similar circumstances to the victims” and “she should have known”. History of prior victimization appeared to be used as an aggravating factor rather than focusing on issues such as the social conditions and lack of opportunity that leads people to become both victims and offenders of trafficking in persons for sexual exploitation.

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