HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn (WDEF) – The Hamilton County Health Department has partnered with local community organizations to help raise awareness to human trafficking.
One way they are doing this is through the Red Sand Project.
The Red Sand Project uses red sand because they are using the sand to help demonstrate and bring awareness to those who are falling through the cracks of society through sex trafficking.
The Health Department’s public safety educator says its important to be aware of the signs of human trafficking.
“We ask for people to look out for some of the signs of human trafficking. Some of those include: they may seem malnourished , brandings or tattoos to mark them, injuries from being abused. They typically don’t have any identification on them and they have key cards for hotels,” says Calvin Dibbs, Public Safety Educator.
Local organization, Love’s Arm says they have seen a significant increase in the sex industry activity on the streets.
“It’s something that has been hidden behind the scenes, justified, and ignored. It has been going on in our culture rapidly for 40 years.We need people to understand that no one wakes up and chooses to be a prostitute one day,” says Mimi Nikkels, Executive Director of Love’s Arm.
If you or someone you know needs help or information you can call the National Human Trafficking hotline (888)373-7888 or Text HELP to 233733, Love’s Arm survivor helpline (423)500-0400, or Partnership’s sexual assault crisis hotline (423)755-2700.