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Virginia organizations receive $866K to support victims of human trafficking

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Posted at 6:36 PM, Aug 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-05 18:36:58-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Two Virginia organizations that provide housing services to victims of human trafficking received a total of $866,676 from the Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs and its component, the Office for Victims of Crime.

The grant, awarded to Survivor Ventures, Inc. and Transitions Family Violence Services, will provide six to 24 months of transitional or short-term housing assistance for trafficking victims including rental, utilities, and related expenses like security deposits and relocation costs.

The grant will also provide the funding needed to help victims receive occupational training and counseling, and secure permanent housing.

Survivor Ventures, Inc. and Transitions Family Violence Services are among 73 organizations receiving more than $35 million in OVC grants to support housing services for human trafficking survivors.

“Human traffickers dangle the threat of homelessness over those they have entrapped, playing a ruthless game of psychological manipulation that victims are never in a position to win,” said Katharine T. Sullivan, Deputy Assistant Attorney General for OJP Principal. “These grants will empower survivors on their path to independence and a life of self-sufficiency and hope.”

Human trafficking offenses are among the most difficult crimes to identify, and the scope of human trafficking victimization may be much greater than the limited data reflect, according to the DOJ.

A new report issued by the National Institute of Justice, another component of the Office of Justice Programs, found that the number of human trafficking cases captured in police reports may represent only a fraction of all such cases.