KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) – Grow Free Tennessee is a is a non-profit organization that educates the community about how to end human trafficking and helps victims with resources to get their lives back.
Executive Director of the organization, Natalie Ivey shared a few warning signs with WVLT News that could help someone involved in Human Trafficking. Ivey says the trafficking could be controlled by someone close to the victim.
“Predominantly kids and adults who are being trafficked are being trafficked by a loved one. For kids, very commonly it’s gonna be a family member who’s trafficking them. For adults it might be someone who they have an intimate relationship with,” Ivey said.
The U.S Department of State says globally nearly 25 million people victims of sex trafficking.
Ivey says typically those looking for victims in sex trafficking rings, like the one in Oak Ridge, where nine men were charged , could be everyday people we know like neighbors, co-workers, or even friends.
She spotting out the signs of a trafficking victim can be difficult.
“Paying attention to those around you, touching base with a co-worker when she misses work three days out of the week. Paying attention to the kid who might be acting out in class, who might be sleeping through class. Often these victims while being victimized they are functioning in everyday, but they are not presenting as victims,” Ivey said.
If you suspect someone you know is involved with sex trafficking you can call the National Human Trafficking Hotline: (888) 373-7888 or the TN Hotline: (855) 558-6484.
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