Human Trafficking Awareness

In 2017, according to the Polaris Project, there were 16 cases of human trafficking in West Virginia. During that same year, Polaris worked on 8,759 cases of human trafficking reported to the Polaris-operated National Human Trafficking Hotline and BeFree Textline. These cases involved 10,615 individual victims; nearly 5,000 potential traffickers and 1,698 trafficking businesses. Human trafficking is notoriously underreported. Shocking as these numbers are, they are likely only a tiny fraction of the actual problem.

In 2015, the West Virginia Intelligence/Fusion Center (WVI/FC) became the analytical component to the newly created West Virginia Human Trafficking Task Force, which is chaired by the United States Attorney Offices from the Northern and Southern Districts of West Virginia. The task force is comprised of federal, state, and local law enforcement officers, service providers, victim advocates, and educators.
The WVI/FC’s role in the task force is to provide analytical and case support to law enforcement for human trafficking investigations; maintain statistics for human trafficking cases and tips for West Virginia; and educate law enforcement, state investigators, first responders, and the public.  In support of Human Trafficking awareness month, the WVI/FC posts human trafficking awareness posters within the rest areas of West Virginia every January.