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Community Coalition Against Human Trafficking takes action during Human Trafficking Awareness Month

The most common form of human trafficking for kids in East Tennessee is familial trafficking,...
The most common form of human trafficking for kids in East Tennessee is familial trafficking, which means their family member is their trafficker.(WCTV)
Published: Jan. 11, 2021 at 1:06 PM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month. Community leaders in Knoxville, Kingsport and Johnson City acknowledged Jan. 11 as Human Trafficking Awareness Day.

The Community Coalition Against Human Trafficking will use this month to help raise awareness and funds to support the counter-trafficking movement in East Tennessee.

The coalition, which serves all areas of upper East Tennessee, offers a variety of services to help communities identify and respond to human trafficking. They aim to help the 33 counties in East Tennessee end human trafficking and provide services to human trafficking survivors.

The most common form of human trafficking for kids in East Tennessee is familial trafficking, which means their family member is their trafficker.

Over the last year, CCAHR received more than 200 referrals for services. Officials said more than 100 of those referrals were for children in East Tennessee.

Experts identify the most vulnerable human trafficking victims as children in foster care or group homes, children or adults with a history of physical or sexual abuse, runaways, people with special needs, and anyone with a weakness or vulnerability that can be exposed or exploited.

Officials with CCAHT told WVLT’s Amanda Hara, they have worked with human trafficking victims as young as three-years-old, sold for sex by family members trying to feed a drug addiction. CCAHT Executive Director Natalie Ivey said in many cases, that’s what’s fueling the victimization.

READ MORE: Families selling children for sex most common form of human trafficking in East Tennessee, experts say

The coalition says the process of healing can often take a lifetime and include setbacks and milestones that require consistent support. CCAHT provides clients and survivors with emergency shelter, legal aid, transportation, case management, medical care, therapy, workforce development, and so much more.

To learn more about the CCAHT and the events scheduled for Human Trafficking Awareness Month visit ccaht.org.

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