Human Services

Virginia Beach Justice Initiative

A Voice for the Voiceless

Hampton, VA


VBJI is on a mission to end sex trafficking in our region. We do this through awareness and prevention initiatives, legislative advocacy and survivor intervention and support. We have the privilege of introducing trafficking victims to the possibility of a new beginning through victim advocacy and our innovative jail program.

Ruling Year


Executive Director

Patrick McKenna

Main Address

1705 Todds Ln

Hampton, VA 23666 USA


advocacy, human trafficking, victim services, sex trafficking, anti-human trafficking





Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Victims' Services (P62)

IRS Filing Requirement

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Programs + Results

What we aim to solve New!

The human trafficking of women and children is happening every day. Right here in the United States. And right here in Hampton Roads. Specifically, sex trafficking occurs when a trafficker uses force, fraud or coercion to control another person for the purpose of engaging in a commercial sex act. Eighty percent of victims are women and girls and 83 percent are US citizens. Most victims have experienced childhood sexual trauma, making them more vulnerable to traffickers. The average age of a new trafficking victim is 13 years old. Victims are often given a quota of 10-15 “johns” or buyers of sex per night, resulting in thousands of rapes per year and unimaginable amounts of complex trauma. VBJI is tackling the issue by using a variety of approaches that tackle prevention, awareness, rescue, recovery and re-integration.

Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Victim Advocacy

Awareness/Prevention Education

Jail Based Human Trafficking Education and Prevention

Where we workNew!

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have and haven't they accomplished so far?

Virginia Beach Justice Initiative seeks to eradicate human trafficking in Hampton Roads and to help victims become overcomers. VBJI is collaborating with other like minded organizations and individuals to tackle an issue that is too big for any one group. Our goal is to work to implement strategies that allow victims to be identified, and then provide advocacy, mentoring, and emergency and long term needs to enable survivors to begin a new life.

VBJI takes a four-pronged approach to fulfill our mission: 1) Education and Outreach: We raise awareness by staffing booths at relevant events and speaking to businesses, schools, churches, the military, law enforcement and others to build awareness of the issue and its local impact. We also offer monthly public information sessions. 2) Prevention: Because the average age of sex trafficking victims is 13, we work to educate students, teachers, school nurses, coaches and parents of middle and high school students, using a nationally recognized, SOL-compliant curriculum designed to protect children from victimization. 3) Legislative Advocacy: VBJI has worked collaboratively with legislators and other stakeholders to pass more than 20 laws that make Virginia less friendly to traffickers and a safer place for survivors. 4) Survivor Support: We train volunteer advocates to become coaches for survivors, helping them to navigate through the healing process and achieve self-sufficiency.

Our executive director and other team members are subject-matter experts, who have created and delivered hundreds of presentations on the topic to a wide variety of audiences. We also train volunteers who are interested in serving as spokespersons on behalf of VBJI. We collaborate with Richmond Justice Initiative to expand the reach of the prevention curriculum they created, so that we can impact as many students as possible. Our executive director is an attorney by trade, so he has keen insight and relationships with other attorneys, law enforcement and the legislative process to help craft and advance human trafficking laws in Virginia. On staff, we have a victim advocacy coordinator who develops and facilitates the training of our advocates, tapping into a number of community experts and partners as instructors for the course. We also have a licensed professional counselor and two case managers who are tasked with providing direct victim care.

We will know we are making progress when: -More people realize that sex trafficking is happening right here in Hampton Roads and take responsibility to speak up when they see something -Fewer children in Hampton Roads become victims of human trafficking -More sex traffickers are convicted for their crimes, deterring other would-be perpetrators -When more survivors are treated more as as victims than criminals -We have helped more survivors to become self-sufficient -When Hampton Roads (and Virginia) become a model for other states in fighting human trafficking

To date, we have educated thousands of individuals and organizations and equipped more than than 100 survivor advocates. We have helped with the passage of more than 20 laws and continue to be engaged in the legislative process on an annual basis. We have introduced the Prevention Project to more than 10 local schools and will continue to offer our resources to any interested school or district. To date, we have served more than 100 survivors and are currently working with 60, who are in some phase of their journey to restoration. In addition, we have begun to build our donor base and established two signature fundraising events annually. We have been the recipient of a humanitarian award for our work and been awarded several grants, including multi-year commitments.

External Reviews


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Board Leadership Practices

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SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?



Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?



Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?



Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?



Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?