Homeland Security Department Speaks Out on VA Human Trafficking - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Homeland Security Department Speaks Out on Human Trafficking in VA

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The Department of Homeland Security wants to spread awareness about a hidden crime. Wednesday, one of its agents spoke out about human trafficking in Virginia.  

Special agent John Torres was in Charlottesville participating in an event to honor victims of all crimes. But he was also there to help spread awareness about human trafficking and how common it is in the state.  

Torres says the biggest misconception about this crime is that people think it only happens in other countries, when it's actually something happening in their backyard - and Charlottesville is no exception.

Torres also says people from all economic backgrounds and ages are targets. He says it only takes one vulnerable moment for someone to be lured into sex trafficking.

"Maybe they get in an argument with mom and dad and next day they're out with their friends and they get taken advantage of by people who see them as being vulnerable and force them right into the sex trade within 24 hours," Torres said.

Nearly 30 children have been rescued in Virginia as victims of sex trafficking. There are also a number of current active cases in Charlottesville.  

Homeland security has partnered with the U.S. attorney in Charlottesville to form a human trafficking taskforce.

The U.S. attorney's office also provides training sessions. For more information, click here.

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