Skip to main content
Press Release

Justice Department Awards Over $2.5 Million in Grants to Combat Human Trafficking and Assist Victims in EDVA

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Virginia

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The U.S. Department of Justice announced this week that it has awarded more than $2.5 million in funding, through the Office of Justice Programs (OJP), to combat human trafficking and provide vital services to trafficking victims in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

“Human trafficking, forced labor, and the sexual exploitation of both adults and children remains a top priority of this office, and we will continue to investigate and prosecute these serious crimes, which inflict mental, emotional, and physical harm on the victims involved,” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “As a former human trafficking prosecutor myself, I know firsthand that there are no more righteous causes than combatting modern day slavery. Thank you to the Department of Justice for supporting our efforts and our critical partners in this all important fight to protect vulnerable individuals and hold traffickers accountable.”

On November 12, 2019, the Justice Department announced the awarding of over $100 million nationwide in grants issued by multiple OJP components, including the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) and the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), to victim services providers, human trafficking task forces, and jurisdictions all over the country. In the Commonwealth of Virginia, those grants totaled over $2.5 million in funds that were awarded to five organizations located or operating within the Eastern District of Virginia.

Under OVC’s Integrated Services for Minor Victims of Human Trafficking program, the Office of the Attorney General of Virginia (OAG) was awarded $354,621 to provide minor victims of trafficking with high-quality services that are developmentally appropriate and tailored for their individual needs. The Virginia Attorney General’s Office plays a leadership role in the Hampton Roads Human Trafficking Task Force—which includes the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Homeland Security Investigations, and victim services providers—and OAG previously received funding in 2016 from the Bureau of Justice Assistance to support those ongoing efforts.

Under OVC’s Direct Services to Support Victims of Human Trafficking program, the Justice Department awarded $839,055 to Samaritan House, Inc. and $497,958 to Safe Harbor to enhance the quality and quantity of services available to victims of all forms of trafficking.

Samaritan House, which is based in Virginia Beach, provides emergency and permanent housing, support services, and community outreach to victims of violence and homeless families in the Hampton Roads region. Funding from the OVC grant will allow Samaritan House to continue addressing the growing trafficking concerns in the Hampton Roads area, and to collaborate with the Hampton Roads Human Trafficking Task Force as its victim services provider. The grant will pay for direct services to support victims of sex and labor trafficking, such as emergency shelter, which is essential to help victims stabilize and succeed.

Safe Harbor, which is based in Richmond, provides support to those who are experiencing or have experienced domestic violence, sexual violence, or human trafficking in Henrico County and the Greater Richmond region. Safe Harbor’s comprehensive program for victims of sex trafficking includes emergency and transitional shelter for adult female victims, case management, therapeutic counseling, addiction counseling, court advocacy, and a human trafficking hotline for those seeking services. Funding from the OVC grant will allow Safe Harbor to expand and centralize services for human trafficking victims by creating a community center for delivery of services, including case management and addiction counseling, to victims living outside Safe Harbor’s shelter program.

Under OVC’s Field-Generated Innovations in Assistance to Victims of Human Trafficking program, Survivor Ventures, Inc. will receive $900,000 to fill gaps and improve the victim service field’s response to human trafficking. Survivor Ventures, which is based in Norfolk, provides survivors of sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation with the support and resources needed to attain economic empowerment, including the provision of safe shelter.

In addition, The Salvation Army was awarded $493,798 to provide integrated services for minor victims of human trafficking in both New York and Virginia.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.


Joshua Stueve
Director of Public Affairs

Updated July 15, 2022

Human Trafficking