New display bringing attention to human trafficking

CLARKSVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Some Midstate roads now have sand on them in honor of all the human trafficking victims.

The red sand was meant to represent all the victims that slip through the cracks, people around us every day, then they disappear.

It’s all to draw attention to what lawmakers are calling the second-fastest growing crime in Tennessee.

“In the State of Tennessee, we have 94 to 120 minors trafficked throughout our state,” said Christie Huschke, End Slavery Tennessee. “This is a good way to let people know this isn’t just happening in major metropolitan areas, but right here in our own communities.”

The event on Tuesday marked the launch of a new branch of the group dedicated to fighting human trafficking.

End Slavery Tennessee opened up a branch in Clarksville last month.

A similar event will be held on Wednesday in Nashville.

The group will be meeting outside the historic Davidson County Courthouse in Public Square. It starts at noon.

Past victims of human trafficking will attend to give first-hand testimonies.

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The two worst counties for human trafficking, according to the most recent TBI report, are in Middle Tennessee.

Coffee and Davidson counties are among the four counties that had more than 100 trafficking cases in the 2013 report. Knox and Shelby counties are the other two.

Coffee County was the only county in a rural area to have more than 100 reports of sex trafficking of minors that year.

In Davidson County there were more than 100 cases of minor and adult trafficking.

The study also included a poll that stated 63% of Nashvillians who responded said minors should not be charged with prostitution and 72% believe their local agencies aren’t trained well enough to handle human trafficking.