The Catholic University of America


CUA Law Alumna Works Towards Establishing a Standalone Human Trafficking Law in Virginia

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As Coalition Coordinator of Kids Are Not For Sale in VA, Tabatha Mansfield, class of 2013, worked with Virginia legislators, prosecutors, law enforcement, and advocates to advocate for the enactment of a sex trafficking law during the 2015 legislative session. HB 1964 and SB 1188 passed the Virginia General Assembly unanimously and were signed into law by the Virginia governor in March. The new law went into effect July 1.

Prior to enactment, Virginia was the only state in the nation without a standalone human trafficking law. The new law establishes a sex trafficking offense and specifically criminalizes child sex trafficking.

Mansfield first started meeting with VA legislators about the need for a human trafficking law as a law student in 2010. As part of her legal externship for anti-trafficking organization Shared Hope International, she helped conduct an assessment of sex trafficking of minors in Virginia. Prior to law school, Mansfield worked on human trafficking issues in Congress as Coordinator of the Congressional Victims' Rights Caucus and legislative aide for Congressman Ted Poe.

Mansfield is the Principal of Mansfield Consulting, LLC. She co-authored an Op-Ed that contains more details about the new law.