Cuccinelli Seeking Funding to Support Trafficking Victims


RICHMOND, Va. (WHSV) -- Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli will announce Thursday that he is seeking to further fund efforts to help fight human trafficking in Virginia, one of the fastest growing crimes in the world.

According to Cuccinelli's plan, $6 million would be given out to provide more counseling services and shelters for victims of trafficking.

Trafficking is growing in Virginia due to multiple factors. With Washington D.C., nearby and Interstates 66, 81, and 64, running through the state, Virginia is often a prime spot to transport victims for either forced labor or sex.

Cuccinelli has said openly that it can often be difficult for investigators to get testimony and evidence to use against traffickers because victims often don't get counseling, or they are fearful of what could happen to them afterwards.

Trafficking is quickly evolving and Col. Steve Sellers with the Albemarle County Police Department said if it doesn't become a priority it could lead to worse things.

"It's a silent crime. It's hidden from common observation much more so than illegal narcotics trafficking, I think it leads to a degradation of our community here, and if we don't get in front of it, it will lead to other problems in our community that will run out of control," said Sellers.

Cuccinelli will be speaking at 1 p.m. Thursday.

This funding for human trafficking isn't guaranteed yet as it still needs to be approved by the treasury department.


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