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The Problem Anchor Top
The Problem Anchor

The Problem

  • There are an estimated 50 million people being trafficked in the world today, with an estimated 6.4 million being trafficked for sexual exploitation. (International Labour Organization)


  • Of those being trafficked for sexual exploitation, 80% are women and girls. (International Labour Organization)


  • Sex Trafficking is estimated to be a $150 billion business – it is the 2nd largest criminal enterprise and fastest growing crime in the world. (U.S. Department of Homeland Security)


  • Every 2 minutes, a child is trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation in the United States. (U.S. Department of Justice)


  • Almost 300,000 American children are at risk annually  for trafficking into the sex industry. (U.S. Department of State)


  • The average age of entry into commercial sexual exploitation is 13 years old. (U.S. Department of Justice, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children)


  • There are girls as young as 5 and 6 years old in the U.S. that are forced to do sexual acts for economic gain by their trafficker. (U.S. Department of Justice)


  • A 2011 report by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation concluded that no county in Tennessee was immune to the crime of sex trafficking. Today, 100% of counties in TN have reported cases of sex trafficking. (Tennessee Bureau of Investigation)


  • An estimated 94 minors are trafficked every month in Tennessee; 1,128 each year. (Tennessee Bureau of Investigation) 

  • In 2011, four TN Counties (including Davidson) reported more than 100 cases each over a 24 month period. Number of tips received have continued to increase over time. (Tennessee Bureau of Investigation)

  • Studies show that traffickers prey on individuals presenting vulnerabilities including: mental health concerns, experiencing or living in a household involving physical or sexual abuse, substance use disorders, involvement in the child welfare or foster care system, unstable housing, and/or living at or near the poverty level. (Polaris)

  • Over half of traffickers knew their victims, including romantic partners and family members. (Polaris)


  • Through a grooming process, traffickers will gain trust and meet needs before isolating and exploiting the victim, increasing the likelihood that the victim will become attached and repeatedly return to the trafficker. This process can occur entirely online. (Polaris)

  • Reports estimate that 70-90% of commercially exploited children have a history of childhood sexual abuse. (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)


  • Nashville experiences a higher rate of sex trafficking activity because of our proximity to Atlanta, with the busiest international airport in the country, and our complex interstate systems and the I40, I65, I24 corridor. 


  • "Data shows that in the United States, approximately 40% of sex trafficking victims are recruited online, making the Internet the most common place where victim recruitment takes place." Alexandra Gelber, U.S. Department of Justice 


  • There are not enough dedicated beds in shelters across the country to house the number of survivors seeking restoration.  There are only a handful of shelters that are specifically dedicated and equipped for this particular client group. 


  • The first shelters of this type are finally emerging in the state of Tennessee.

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