Each year, 1,000 American children are arrested for prostitution in the United States…

These children are not “prostitutes.” They are victims of a heinous crime. Instead of getting the help they need, they are often treated as criminals and placed in juvenile detention homes while their buyers remain free to exploit the next vulnerable child.

Most sex trafficking survivors need immediate, and often long-term, medical assistance due to the types of trauma they have endured. Mental health counseling is imperative for survivors to become whole again. Shelter staff must be carefully trained to support and advocate for residents and to help them avoid further victimization.

A 2013 study reported that only 33 residential programs, with a total of 682 beds, are available across the United States to help both adult and juvenile survivors of sex trafficking. As increasingly more juvenile victims are recovered in our area, the FBI and state police have identified an immediate need for a facility that can provide a safe and loving place of respite and recovery for these young girls in Virginia.