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New Coalition to Combat Human Trafficking in Tennessee

July 16, 2007

According to a piece in the Nashville City Paper, Nashville will become home to the 19th Rescue and Restore Victims of Human Trafficking Coalition, a program of the federal Department of Health and Human Services.

According to an expert with the U.S. Department of Heath and Human Services (HHS), there are more victims of human trafficking and sex slavery in Nashville than local and even federal authorities are aware of.


But because trafficking victims are “brainwashed” into believing they will be subject to even worse abuse at the hands of U.S. authorities who will treat them like criminals, the majority of trafficking victims continue to deny they are being held against their will even after they are discovered and their captors are arrested.


“Trafficking victims do not come forward on their own,” said Martha Newton, the director of HHS’ Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), which outside of the U.S. State Department is the country’s highest office dealing directly with the victims of human trafficking for sex or labor slavery.


Even though multiple brothels in Nashville with prostitutes that are exclusively foreign nationals of Latin American countries have been the target of a statewide FBI investigation into possible sex slavery at the hands of an indicted Mexican national have yet to produce any new, confirmed cases of human trafficking, Newton said she is sure the cases are there nonetheless.

Newton says that more than 30 organizations in the Nashville area “who can assist with identifying human trafficking in the Nashville area that will be coming together that day, including law enforcement, ethnic and faith-based groups and heath care and social service providers.” She also states that “HHS, the U.S. State Department and the local FBI office are already aware that human trafficking victims have been brought and forced to work in Nashville.”

Update: More coverage of this issue in the Nashville City Paper.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. July 3, 2008 10:53 am

    If you are interested in working to combat this global epidemic. Please join our team as we work here in the States and around the world with safe houses and shelters to bring restoration.

    • Stephanie Smeltzer permalink
      May 18, 2010 9:51 am

      I would love to help.

  2. Nicole Vandewalker permalink
    October 13, 2008 12:14 am

    I would really like to help in anyway that I can…please e-mail me back and let me know how I can volunteer.

  3. Marsha Johnson permalink
    October 22, 2010 8:53 am

    I am a minister and co-founder of a ministry to help girls/young women recover from past abuse. Wells of Refuge Minsitries is in the planning stages, but I would be happy to help in whatever way i can to help.

    As a theraputic foster parent to sexually abuse girls for many years. I understand the damage done to innocent girls.

    My sister and I are both ministers and certified counselors and chaplians.

  4. Christina Cassell permalink
    February 26, 2011 12:10 pm

    Please send me more information about how I can be an active part in the fight against human sex-trafficking.

  5. Allison Ledbetter permalink
    April 4, 2011 11:24 am

    Hey, I know I’m only 16, but I’ve been feeling God calling me to work with sex traffic victims now and in the future. I’d love to help any way I can. I’m trying to get into the loop on all of the information and organizations revolving around sex traffic. Please let me know.

  6. Alexis Smith permalink
    March 19, 2012 11:43 pm

    I am a former foster child and a former U.S Army, Special Forces soldier. I know that I am being called upon as well to fight in the Lords fight against this unimaginable evil that is a global epidemic. Please email me to let me know what I can do to help in this fight. I am an RN student as well as graduating medical assisting school in June. I have seen first hand of what abuse can do to any child, as I was a victim of abuse myself. I have 3 beautiful children whom I love dearly, they know how much this means to me. My teen is also interested in volunteering. Thanks so much, I look forward to hearing from you.


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