- Myth #1: Human trafficking victims are only foreign nationals.
Reality: Both U.N. protocol and U.S. federal law use definitions of trafficking that do not require the crossing of international or state borders. Many trafficked persons are victims of internal or domestic trafficking within the borders of a single country, and are themselves nationals of that country. Trafficking takes place all over the world, including the United States. Trafficking is also a growing problem in our own state of Virginia.
- Myth #2: Poverty and inequality are the causes of human trafficking.
Reality: While poverty and inequality are important factors in making certain populations more vulnerable to being trafficked, they are not the primary causes of trafficking. Trafficking is a criminal industry driven by 1) the ability to make large profits due to high demand, and 2) negligible-to-low risk of prosecution. As long as demand is unchecked and the risk for traffickers is low, trafficking will exist regardless of other contributing factors. Blaming poverty and inequality alone is not only inaccurate and disheartening, it tends to deflect blame from the key actors that perpetuate trafficking - the traffickers themselves and their customers.
- Myth #3: There is not much I can do about such a huge issue.
Reality: Together - we can make a huge difference! We were founded by community members just like yourself, as were historic organizations like the Underground Railroad. Organizations like Virginia Beach Justice Initiative live and breathe based on the contributions and dedication of community members. Making a financial donation, a gift of time, goods, or services, or helping to raise awareness are some of the things collectively that help victims every day. Be informed on the issue. Please join us and be welcomed into the growing movement to combat slavery today!