Trafficking In Northern Virginia
Virginia is 1 of 10 states that make the most calls to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline. A large percentage of these calls are made from Northern Virginia, with more than 500 known investigations.
WHAT IS HUMAN TRAFFICKING?
Human trafficking, also known as modern-day slavery, is defined as the use of force, fraud, or coercion to control someone to work without payment (labor trafficking) or engage in sexual activity (sex-trafficking) in exchange for anything of value (money, drugs, shelter, food, clothes, etc.).
WHAT DOES THIS LOOK LIKE IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA?
In Northern Virginia, a common form of modern slavery is Teen Sex Trafficking (TST), which is the act of using force, fraud, or coercion on anyone under the age of 18 to engage in a sexual act in return for something of value. In a region abounding with busy parents and broken homes, traffickers prey on the lonely and vulnerable. Traffickers use staged encounters or social media to recruit their victims, then “groom” them to create a sense of family and belonging.
Many trafficked girls in Northern Virginia go to school every day. Their traffickers pick them up after school, take them for a few hours a day, and return them home in the evenings without anyone suspecting what is really happening.
In addition to TST, multiple forms of trafficking take place on a frequent basis in Northern Virginia. In-home brothels, recruitment via social media sites, and online transactions for sexual meet-ups happen here in NOVA as do labor and sex trafficking in spas and massage parlors. Labor trafficking also occurs in the form of domestic servitude, farm hands, and door-to-door solicitors, such as magazine sellers.