New initiative to stop human trafficking launched in West Virginia

Published: Sep. 13, 2023 at 5:51 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va (WDTV) - A new initiative has been launched that aims at stopping human trafficking in West Virginia.

Governor Jim Justice and the West Virginia Fusion Center announced the launch of the “YOU CAN” initiative on Wednesday.

“We are going to attack this problem together and work to stop these bad actors and this immoral behavior in our state,” Gov. Justice said. “It’s time for all West Virginians, all our agencies, and all our communities to watch out, report and support law enforcement so we can stop this disgusting behavior in our great state.”

The “YOU CAN” initiative aims to bring awareness to human trafficking in the State of West Virginia, according to Gov. Justice.

It includes a local reporting line that gets information to the appropriate federal, state and local authorities for investigation, intervention and action.

“When citizens are empowered to report the signs of trafficking and talk about the problem, our communities become part of the solution,” said Mark Sorsaia, Secretary of the West Virginia Department of Homeland Security. “We all need to be aware and work to intervene and mitigate this terrible behavior to protect our friends, neighbors and our children.”

The YOU CAN initiative and the WVFC website offer local and national human trafficking resources and a way for victims and members of the community to learn about and report information.

The brochure below will be distributed across the state to increase awareness of human trafficking, including information about the risk factors and signs of human trafficking.

West Virginians can submit a human trafficking tip online, by email, calling 1-888-373-7888 or texting “Be Free” or 233733. Dial 911 for immediate threats or emergencies.

West Virginia has also partnered with My Mobile Witness to implement a “see something, send something” reporting system that can be completed on a smartphone or other mobile device.