Awareness

We believe that Awareness of the crime of human trafficking is absolutely necessary to both fight and eradicate this abomination. Our organization is committed to bringing this issue to the forefront of public consciousness in the Spotsylvania, Stafford, Fredericksburg, and surrounding areas.

What is Human Trafficking?

The Trafficking Victims Protection Act defines "severe forms of trafficking" as:
(A) sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age; or
(B) the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.

How big is the problem?

To take a quote from the State Department's 2016 Trafficking in Persons Report, “Given the complex nature of human trafficking, it is difficult to amass reliable data to document local, regional, and global prevalence.” However, even with the lack of reliable data, conservative worldwide estimates range anywhere between 12 and 27 million trafficking victims at any given time, generating close to $150 billion dollars annually.   


What does human trafficking look like in the United States and Virginia?

Human trafficking can take many forms including sex, labor, and even organ trafficking. Victims can be men, women, adults, children, foreign nationals, or U.S. Citizens.

It is important to remember that human trafficking is primarily about exploiting vulnerability. Although factors like economic hardship, prior abuse, homelessness, or lack of documentation make people particularly more susceptible to trafficking, something as seemingly simple as a confidence issue can make someone vulnerable as well, meaning that human trafficking can find its way to ANYONE.

As is the case with victims, the traffickers themselves can be men, women, adults, children, foreign nationals, or U.S. Citizens. However, traffickers can come in a variety of other forms such as family members, friends, boyfriends or girlfriends, gangs, contractors, or businesses.

Recruitment strategies vary, but online 'grooming' is becoming more and more popular among sex traffickers because of anonymity and being able to advertise their victims to a larger audience. Meanwhile, many other victims are lured from outside the United States by labor recruiters whose promises of fair wages and work prove false once they arrive.

Sadly, in most cases by the time the victim realizes what is happening it is too late. They are manipulated and forced into a lifestyle against their will that could potentially end in tragedy. The good news is that more and more victims are being rescued every day thanks to the collaborative efforts of many, and with enough time and support, we believe we will win the battle against this modern day slavery.