It may seem impossible to believe, but Richmond is in the Top 20 Human Trafficking jurisdictions in the U.S., per the U.S. Department of Justice. In 2016, in Virginia, the National Human Trafficking Resource Center reported 610 calls to their hotline, with 152 cases of human trafficking, in which over 50% were minors.
For the first time in history we have a generation of young people who have never NOT known the Internet. The Internet is now the #1 platform where traffickers and buyers are scouting for, luring, buying and selling people for illicit sex. According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the majority of recruitment by traffickers and buyers has moved to social networking apps and sites where vulnerable youth are meeting their trafficker. This is a real problem in our community– endangering our friends, our neighbors and especially our youth.