A police department and a non-profit will split a $1 million grant to help human trafficking victims in Northern Virginia.
The grant from the U.S. Department of Justice was presented to Fairfax County Police Department and Polaris Project Friday.
“Human trafficking is the fastest growing crime in the world," Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli said during the ceremony. "Certainly it is one that we recognize now is taking place in Virginia.”
Police say in just over two years, they have rescued almost 300 victims of human trafficking. Their ages range between 12 and 40, and although most are women being trafficked for sex, men can fall victim to traffickers as well.
"When you actually surround them with love and care and empowerment and encouragement, all their natural talents come out," Executive Director of the Polaris Project Bradley Myles said.
Northern Virginia has become a hotspot for human trafficking in recent years. The Richmond Justice Initiative recently said the Commonwealth is now among the top states when it comes to passing laws and raising awareness about human trafficking.