Church Hosts Anti-Human Trafficking Class

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. - Human sex trafficking has been a crime that often goes unnoticed and unreported.

A Middle Tennessee church teamed up with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation on Sunday to inform people about how to spot victims of the growing issue.

About 80 people gathered at Brentwood Baptist to hear special agent Rick Stout provide information on ways to recognize and effectively address human sex trafficking.

"Every two minutes a child is bought or sold for sex, with the average age of the child being 13 years old," Stout told the audience. 

The training class came after the TBI indicted 22 men in a human trafficking operation the week before.

Vicki Howell has attended Brentwood Baptist. As a mother of twin 3-year-old boys, she said she appreciated having the class and hopes it helps other parents, as well.

"We're hoping since this has happened that it brings more people to the table as the issue is just really rising. We want to not just bring awareness to it, but we want to help people understand okay, now I know it's happening, I know I can get trained but I don't want to get stalled there. What can I do to be a part of the solution?" Howell said.

Human trafficking has been the second-fastest growing criminal industry behind drug trafficking. 

Some warning signs to watch out for if a person may be a victim of human trafficking include:

Pay attention to someone's physical appearance. Do they have injuries, seem malnourished, or dress proactively? Are they accompanied by someone who seems to control their every move, or are they afraid of authority figures? 

Peggy Enochs of Antioch said she attended the training class because she felt compelled to make a difference in her community.

"I can pray, yes, but I think once I obtained the information I can pray, be more strategic about it. As well as be more informed in order to share the information with other people who I am around," she said.

More information can be found online by clicking here.

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