Statistics show rise in human trafficking in Tennessee - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Statistics show rise in human trafficking in Tennessee

(WMC-TV) - Numbers released by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation show a rise in human trafficking in Shelby County.

Like many people who frequently travel Lamar Avenue, Kennetha McClain is fully aware of the human trafficking along the busy stretch of highway.

"Just the girls walking up and down the street half naked," said McClain.

The TBI has released a report which shows Davidson, Shelby, Knox and Coffee Counties among the highest ranked in regard to the number of human sex trafficking victims.  Each county reported over 200 victims in the past 24 months, with about 4,000 victims statewide.

Wolfchase Galleria, Sam Cooper Boulevard, Lamar Avenue, Memphis International Airport, and Tunica, Mississippi, are among the top areas in the Mid-South for sex slaves.

Memphis-based organization, A Bridge of Hope, along with the TBI, has presented the most recent data to the Tennessee Women's Caucus.

This year, there are six new laws being brought before Tennessee legislators that will make charges in Tennessee against traffickers the strongest of all 50 states.

"If there are tougher penalties, then they'll stop doing it," said McClain.

A Bridge of Hope will be sponsoring several events around the Mid-South in support of National Human Trafficking Awareness Month.

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