According to the Department of Homeland Security, human trafficking is defined as: "modern-day slavery and involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act."
"Human trafficking is ... a multi-billion dollar criminal industry that denies freedom to 20.9 million people around the world. And no matter where you live, changes 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 help against his will. All trafficking victims share one essential experience: the loss of freedom." - Polaris Project
Here in Hampton roads - a highly transient sector with several key ports, highways, and a large population - human trafficking is an issue we are turning our focus too more collectively.
One of our sister shelters, the Samaritan House in Virginia Beach, was recently awarded a large grant to form the Hampton Roads Human Trafficking Taskforce - a group that includes shelter, law enforcement, law, and health professionals. Together we are working towards identifying and providing services to victims identified right here in our own neighborhoods.
You can help! To request help or report suspected human trafficking, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 .
For more information on trafficking, check out the links to resources below!