Let’s prevent a problem

Published 7:09 pm Tuesday, January 14, 2020

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Learning about human trafficking at last week’s symposium was the proverbial eye-opener. To our previous understanding, it was only about illegal aliens being moved from one country to another. But as representatives of the Virginia Beach Justice Initiative explained, trafficking isn’t limited to just wrongfully transporting individuals, it’s also tantamount to slavery.

For example, VBJI makes a strong case that there’s a strong element of sexual activity involved that’s not consensual. True, there may be seduction and willingness at first, but once they’re ensnared, victims are coerced by threats, blackmail and violence to keep them in place.

Now, as we understood law enforcement representatives at the program — and they can certainly correct us if we’re mistaken — trafficking as experienced elsewhere is not an issue in Western Tidewater … yet.

We suggest that all who attended the symposium tell other people what they learned, and so on and so forth. This can include arranging for the VBJI making presentations to other groups, such as civic and social clubs and churches. We also would like to see schools eventually implement such courses in curriculum.

Let’s not stick our heads in the sand and pretend this won’t ever become a problem here in Western Tidewater. It can and will if we do not learn now about trafficking, become aware of the corrosive danger it threatens, and then take preventative action.

To learn more, contact the VBJI at 877-227-2321. The hotline number is 656-1015.