Laffey, Bucci & Kent founder Brian Kent offers legal insights regarding sex trafficking in Melanie K. Patterson’s The Truth about Sex Trafficking: A Survivor’s Experience and What It Means for All of Us. The book identifies tactics traffickers use to manipulate victims and explores how survivors are able to get out. Patterson incorporates insights from anti-trafficking advocates, survivors, attorneys, and other experts.

Attorney Brian Kent, a leading advocate in sexual assault cases, notes the importance of forensic training for legal professionals on how to work with survivors and victims of trauma. He shares that lawyers often bring in outside experts, such as counselors or advocates, to support clients.

The book also examines the differences between civil litigation and criminal prosecution. “[Civil litigation] cases are adversarial by nature. All lawsuits are. There are lawyers on the other side fighting this case,” said Kent. In criminal cases, prosecuting attorneys “don’t necessarily represent the interest of the victim or survivor. The victim has very little control … because the state has an interest in protecting the public.”

However, he explains, that there are advantages to both types of cases. Criminal cases allow the survivor to “obtain a sense of justice because their perpetrators may be convicted and go to jail.” In civil cases, survivors do not have to take the stand and testify.

A nationally known advocate for victims’ rights and a survivor of clergy abuse himself, Kent has dedicated his life to seeking justice for survivors of unthinkable abuse, assault and human trafficking, lending voice to the voiceless and holding powerful people and institutions to account. Prior to representing sexual abuse, assault and trafficking survivors, Brian was fighting for the rights of sexual assault victims as a prosecutor in the Sex Crimes Unit of the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office. At Laffey, Bucci & Kent, he leads a team made up of former prosecutors who devote their entire practice to representing victims of crime throughout the country.

Purchase a copy of the book here: Melanie K. Patterson’s The Truth about Sex Trafficking: A Survivor’s Experience and What It Means for All of Us