When I was first elected, I had no idea that human trafficking happened in Virginia. It only took one passionate constituent to open my eyes and to turn me into an advocate as well.” | Delegate David Bulova

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RJI Legislative History

In 2011 when RJI began advocating in Virginia’s General Assembly, Virginia was one of the “dirty dozen” states for a lack of laws that provided justice to victims of human trafficking. Polaris Project rated Virginia as a RED STATE in 2010 for having a poor legal framework to combat human trafficking.

Since then, RJI has been instrumental in the passage of 15 pieces of human trafficking legislation, and in 2013, RJI celebrated Virginia becoming a GREEN STATE in Polaris Project ratings!

How Does Your State Rank

2013 State Rankings

In a matter of three small years Virginia went from being a RED STATE leaving many vulnerable to human trafficking, to a GREEN STATE more dedicated to protecting its people.


Virginia is a Green State{Pictured above: Advocates and elected officials gathered together to celebrate Virginia becoming a green state. From left to right: James Dold, Polaris; Secretary of Public Safety Marla Decker; Secretary of the Commonwealth Janet Kelly; Sara Pomeroy, Richmond Justice Initiative; Governor Bob McDonnell; Delegate Tim Hugo; Senator Mark Obenshain.}

State Legislation by Category

The following is a graph depicting human trafficking legislation in Virginia by category to show the amount of laws Virginia has in the specific areas of prosecuting the perpetrator, ending the demand, victim services, and victim identification and training.

VA Legislation by Category