Human Trafficking Conference Held in Charlottesville - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Human Trafficking Conference Held in Charlottesville

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Human Trafficking Conference held at The Covenant School Human Trafficking Conference held at The Covenant School

The global crime of human trafficking is happening right here in central Virginia. A new organization in Charlottesville hopes to help victims heal.  Its founder and representatives from several groups came together Saturday for a conference on the plight of women worldwide.

Many victims remain silent because they're scared of being found by their oppressors or mistreated by police. Saturday an organization called Advancing Native Missions hosted a conference at The Covenant School to educate the community about this problem.

Kate Jordan of the International Justice Mission helps victims of human trafficking prosecute their perpetrators.

“Human trafficking is the fastest growing criminal enterprise in our world today. It is tied with the illegal arms trade for second place behind only the illegal drug trafficking trade,” she stated.

National Geographic estimates more than 27 million people are victims of human trafficking around the globe and the crime happens right in our backyard.

“The I-95 corridor is notorious for sex trafficking rings bringing people up and down the East Coast.” Jordan stated.

Many victims are forced to remain silent. Nearly 100 people met in Charlottesville Saturday to give victims a voice. Autumn Graves of Advancing Native Missions said, "Starting a conversation of hope in the community concerning women's issues globally"

Joanna Jennings is making plans to help victims in central Virginia by building the foundation for The Arbor. “Trafficking is happening in our state and in our town and The Arbor is trying to mitigate some of those things by starting a long term shelter for foreign-born trafficking survivors,” she stated.

The Arbor hopes to house its first client in Charlottesville in 2015 and provide employment skills and help victims heal. “There are also a lot of good people working to counter what is happening to women globally,” Graves stated.

We're told trafficking can occur in plain sight and public awareness is the best line of defense. If you see a situation that doesn't look right you are encouraged to report it to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1-888-373-7888.

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