Tag Archives: human trafficking

FBI Richmond, Local Law Enforcement Partner in National Operation Against Child Sex Trafficking

Human Trafficking in Virginia

The FBI’s national weeklong Operation Cross Country VIII resulted in the recovery of 168 victims of child sex trafficking across America, in what the FBI says is the country’s largest law enforcement action against child sex trafficking. Virginia’s FBI offices in Richmond and Norfolk participated in the program along with 104 other U.S. cities.

Operation Cross Country is an annual law enforcement action to recover child sex trafficking victims around the country with the help of local, state and federal law enforcement partners. The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children also participated in the operation. More

Richmond Justice Initiative Joins National Educator Organization

Anti-human trafficking organization Richmond Justice Initiative has joined the National Educators to Stop Trafficking, a national organization that’s mission is to administer educational materials on human trafficking prevention to America’s schools and youth organizations. NEST aims to empower America’s youth with the knowledge and skills to put an end to sex trafficking and gender-based violence.

NEST offers age-appropriate curriculum and resources to teach those who are at the age most vulnerable to sex trafficking. According to NEST, the average age of sex trafficking victims is 13 and approximately 80 percent of traffickers buy slaves for the first time before the age of 25. There are an estimated 100,000 children in the U.S. at risk for sex trafficking each year. NEST has curriculum and resources targeted for students in sixth grade all the way through high school, although there are two programs that start at younger ages. More

The Gray Haven Provides Refuge for Trafficking Victims

The Gray Haven, which opened Virginia’s first drop-in center that provides safe refuge specifically for human trafficking victims in 2012, is committed to empowering clients through individualized holistic care. 

Josh Bailey, the CEO and co-founder of The Gray Haven — which operates Virginia’s first drop-in center that provides safe refuge specifically for human trafficking victims — began researching human trafficking with his wife Andrea about six years ago.

Bailey said they began to explore the issue of human trafficking from an international lens but eventually learned that trafficking frequently occurs in communities throughout the US, including Virginia.

“We started to learn more and more that it was in the United States, that it was in Virginia, it was in Richmond,” he said.


A Wrap-Up of This Year’s Human Trafficking Bills in the Virginia General Assembly

Human Trafficking in VirginiaVirginia’s 2014 General Assembly session has ended and with the help of the Richmond Justice Initiative, Virginia Free Citizen will break down the four human trafficking bills that passed in both chambers that are now awaiting the governor’s signature.

“The (four) pieces of legislation passed will not only provide tougher penalties for traffickers and buyers, but will also provide law enforcement with additional tools to enhance their investigations,” stated Alicia Cundiff, advocacy manager for RJI, in an email. More

Local Anti-Human Trafficking Law Enforcement Efforts Around Virginia

By Shelby Mertens and Kate Miller
Virginia Free Citizen

Data from the Polaris Project and other research studies indicate human trafficking in Virginia primarily takes place in the urban areas of state. Studies suggest northern Virginia, Richmond and the Hampton Roads region experience the most trafficking.

The Virginia Free Citizen reached out to local law enforcement officials in these areas to investigate the presence of human trafficking in Virginia and their anti-human trafficking efforts. Last week we reported on Virginia’s statewide efforts. More