Tag Archives: human trafficking

Virginia Closes Legal Gap on Human Trafficking

(Editor’s note: Human Trafficking in Virginia is a core issue of The Virginia Free Citizen)

By Lyndsey Raynor, Capital News Service

RICHMOND – Twenty-five years after the hit movie “Pretty Woman,” Virginia is getting more serious about an issue that the film treats humorously – sex trafficking.

With the passage of House Bill 1964 and Senate Bill 1188, Virginia is the final state in the nation to enact a stand-alone law against human trafficking, officials say. Both bills were passed unanimously in the General Assembly and have been signed into law by Gov. Terry McAuliffe.

Statistics show why such legislation is needed

There are 25 active cases against human traffickers in Henrico County, according to Mike Feinmel, the assistant commonwealth’s attorney there. Last year, Fairfax County received reports of 79 traffickers, but the state could prosecute only 10, Bill Wolfe, the lead detective for the Fairfax County Police Department’s Human Trafficking Unit. More

Coalition Works To Strengthen Laws Against Human Traffickers

Human Trafficking in VirginiaVirginia’s status as the last state to enact a standalone statute for human trafficking may be a thing of the past after the General Assembly in 2015.

Several groups have formed a coalition called Kids Are Not For Sale to strengthen laws against human traffickers by passing legislation that creates a separate statute for human trafficking in Virginia. Shared Hope International, Richmond Justice Initiative, Regency Law School and the Virginia Beach Justice Initiative are all a part of the grassroots movement to enact the new statute. The statute eliminates the need to prove coercion, force or fraud, if the victim is a minor. More

RJI Receives $10,000 Contribution from AT&T for Prevention Education

Press release from the Richmond Justice Initiative:

RICHMOND, Va. — The Richmond Justice Initiative (RJI) received a $10,000 contribution from AT&T to support its ongoing prevention education programs.

The announcement was made at Hermitage High School.

The latest contribution from AT&T will allow RJI’s signature, award-winning Prevention Project® program to expand its prevention education resources and to continue to reach more schools around Virginia, and across the country! The Prevention Project team works with advocates and local school officials to get the curriculum in their schools. The Prevention Project is now in North Carolina, Texas, Oregon, and has furthered its reach to more schools in VA!   More

Richmond Justice Initiative Honors Henrico County Prosecutor

From Richmond Justice Initiative:

RICHMOND, Va. — Richmond Justice Initiative hosted a reception for its organization Saturday evening in the home of Amy and Steven Williams, partner with McGuire Woods LLP. Richmond Justice Initiative awarded the Assistant Commonwealth Attorney of Henrico, Mike Feinmel, with its Freedom Maker Award.

Virginia Congressman Rob Wittman, an advisory board member for Richmond Justice Initiative, delivered an address as the keynote speaker in support of the organization’s work and accomplishments and spoke on the issue of human trafficking.

“It was an honor to host this event in the Williams’ home. It is only by the support of our community and individuals such as Mike Feinmel and Congressman Wittman that we are able to continue to fight human trafficking in Richmond and beyond,” said Sara Pomeroy, Founder and President of Richmond Justice Initiative. More

U.S. Senate Brings Human Trafficking Bill to a Standstill after House Approval

The Human Trafficking Prioritization Act, House Resolution 2283, passed by voice vote in the U.S. House of Representatives with bipartisan support last Wednesday, July 23. The Senate counterpart, Senate Bill 1249, had already been referred to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where committee leaders Sens. Robert Menendez, D-NJ, and Bob Corker, R-TN, decided to put the bill aside for the time being.

The Richmond Justice Initiative, a non-profit, faith-based organization whose mission is to advocate, educate and raise human trafficking awareness in Virginia, celebrated the passage of the bill in the House along with the national attention the issue has received.

“The Richmond Justice Initiative is celebrating the passage of HR 2283 in the House. We are excited and encouraged to see Congress making the end of modern day slavery a priority,” stated Alicia Cundiff, RJI’s advocacy manager. “Thanks to the hard work of community advocates across the country, including hundreds of Virginians, our voices were heard and Congress listened.”  More