Human trafficking is a form of modern slavery—a multi-billion dollar criminal industry that denies freedom to 20.9 million people around the world. And no matter where you live, chances are it's happening nearby. From the girl forced into prostitution at a truck stop, to the man discovered in a restaurant kitchen, stripped of his passport and held against his will. All trafficking victims share one essential experience: the loss of freedom. From sex trafficking within escort services to labor trafficking of farmworkers, the ways humans are exploited differ greatly. Each type has unique strategies for recruiting and controlling victims, and concealing the crime. We can all make a difference and have an impact. Let's talk about what we will do together to eradicate human trafficking in the United States.
Rochelle is the current Director of Polaris's Disruption Strategies, designed to disrupt trafficking in the United States. She develops and executes the department's strategic direction focused on specific types of human trafficking, including recruiting and maintaining robust collaborative networks of law enforcement, agency stakeholders, and service providers. Her team analyzes national trends and best practices, creating resources and tools to help facilitate the effective and systemic eradication of trafficking in the United States. Her team is currently working with 75 jurisdictions across the United States.
Before joining Polaris, Rochelle spent six years as a prosecutor of gender-based violence crimes in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where she is bar certified to practice law and running the non-profit Feminist Public Works. As an Assistant District Attorney Rochelle championed the need for increased investigation and prosecution of human trafficking in Philadelphia. Her approach to prosecution involves a perpetrator-focused process that centers the victims, limiting added trauma while maximizing survivor empowerment. Her non-profit work on gender-based violence emphasized systemic approaches toward sustainable culture shifts to end gender-based violence and insecurity.