Many Virginians have an outdated notion of human trafficking: Where it takes place, who controls this criminal world and what kind of people become victims. Virginia Takes the Lead, an initiative announced Monday during a summit at Virginia Commonwealth University, aims to put the commonwealth on the cutting edge against human trafficking.
“People say, ‘That’s not happening! That’s not happening on college campuses! That’s not happening here!’” said Barbara Amaya, a survivor and advocate who spent her teenage years under the control of a human trafficker.
In fact, Amaya said, even middle and high school students are drawn in by criminal organizations.
“Richmond has the moral imperative to lead from the front,” Amaya said.