West Virginia

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DoHS Recognizes January as National Human Trafficking Prevention Month


The West Virginia Department of Human Services (DoHS), Bureau for Social Services (BSS) joins partners across the country to raise awareness about human trafficking and educate the public about how to identify and prevent this crime during National Human Trafficking Prevention Month.

Governor Justice also proclaimed January as Human Trafficking Awareness Month in West Virginia. His “YOU CAN” initiative aims to stop human trafficking in West Virginia by encouraging residents to learn the signs of human trafficking and report any suspicious behavior.

Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery in which traffickers use force, fraud, or coercion to control victims for the purpose of engaging in commercial sex acts or labor services against their will. Millions of people are trafficked annually worldwide and victims can be any age, gender, nationality, or race, and can come from any socioeconomic class. West Virginia experiences the harmful impact of human trafficking where the substance abuse crisis has fueled the prevalence of victims, especially those with current or previous child welfare involvement.

“Human trafficking is a pervasive issue that demands our attention and collective action,” said Jeff Pack, Commissioner of DoHS’ Bureau for Social Services. “This month serves as a crucial opportunity to raise awareness, educate communities, and strengthen our resolve to eliminate human trafficking in West Virginia and beyond.”

West Virginians can submit a human trafficking tip online at go.wv.gov/TipsHT, by emailing wvfusion@wv.gov, calling 1-888-373-7888, or texting “Be Free” or 233733. Dial 911 for immediate threats or emergencies.

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