State Recognizes Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month

Tuesday, January 21, 2020 | 05:21am

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee’s capitol will be lit in blue from sunset on Wednesday, January 22 until dawn to raise awareness about slavery and human trafficking prevention.

“Human trafficking is the second-fastest growing criminal industry, just behind drug trafficking, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation,” Office of Criminal Justice Programs (OCJP) Director Jennifer Brinkman said. “We’re committed to supporting organizations across Tennessee who are helping victims and spreading awareness to communities about this form of modern-day slavery.”

In the 2019 fiscal year, OCJP provided more than $760,000 to five human trafficking victim service agencies:

OCJP funding helped provide services and support to 279 victims of human trafficking. Services include:

  • Immediate Health and Safety Services which respond to immediate emotional and physical needs, such as crisis intervention; accompaniment to hospitals for medical examinations; crisis line counseling; and emergency needs like food, clothing, transportation and shelter.
  • Mental Health Assistance providing support services to victims to better understand the dynamics of victimization and to stabilize their lives through counseling, group treatment and therapy.
  • Advocacy in Criminal Justice Proceedings on behalf of human trafficking victims including: accompaniment to criminal justice offices and court; transportation to court; notification of victims regarding trial dates; case disposition information and parole consideration proceedings; restitution advocacy; and assistance with victim impact statements.

If you or someone you know has been affected by human trafficking you can contact the Tennessee Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-855-55-TNHTH.

The OCJP, a division of the department of Finance & Administration, functions as a strategic planning agency that secures, distributes, and manages federal and state funds for Tennessee, including Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) funds and STOP Violence Against Women Program (STOP) funds.