I just returned home from volunteer training for Grow Free Tennessee, an organization dedicated to raising awareness of and combating sex trafficking in East Tennessee. I thought I might share some of the statistics they have on the extent of the problem:
85 counties in Tennessee reported at least one case of human trafficking (2011).
5 counties in Tennessee, including Knox county, reported 100+ cases (one case usually involves multiple victims).
There were 94 children in Tennessee listed for sale for sex online.
People became more aware of sex trafficking in East Tennessee as a result of the case of Selvin Perdomo. Perdomo, originally from Honduras, was arrested by the FBI in 2010 for the trafficking of girls and women out of his Knoxville home. He admitted that over the course of four years he had trafficked over 400 girls and women.
There have been more recent cases, both in East Tennessee and across the state:
Happily, Tennessee has some of the strongest anti-human trafficking laws in the country. Even still, there is a great deal more that needs to be done. If you’re interested in helping out with this cause, you can contact Grow Free Tennessee via their website:
There are more slaves in the world, 27 million, than at any other time in human history. There are 600,000 to 800,000 victims trafficked in the United States every year and 14,500 to 17,500 foreign-born people trafficked into the United States every year. Clearly, this is a massive problem of which people are only beginning to become aware. Please think about becoming involved. I’ll have more to say about this, especially about how to spot the red flags of a human trafficking victim and how to best protect your children, especially girls, from this horror.
Be Christ for all. Bring Christ to all. See Christ in all.