Tennessee Ranks as a National Leader in Fighting Human Trafficking


Tennessee ranked as the top state in America at combating human trafficking this year. This is the third straight year the Volunteer State has held the top ranking in the Shared Hope International annual report.

“More than a decade of partnership, from stakeholders across the state, has helped Tennessee make the progress we have in the fight against human trafficking,” said Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Director David Rausch. “We’re thankful for Shared Hope International’s recognition of being a national leader in this work, but we have more to do, because there are more victims out there right now. That’s why we remain committed to identifying and rescuing them, and connecting them to vital survivor services.

Tennessee scored 98 out a total of 102 points in the Wednesday released study, which rated as an A. Recently, Tennessee passed laws that extended “civil statutes of limitations and removed criminal statutes of limitations,” according to a Shared Hope International press release. These laws allow for sex trafficking survivors to come to terms with what happened before going through the court system.

“Trafficking is a demand-driven crime, and that’s why we also will keep working to hold buyers and traffickers accountable under some of the toughest laws in the country, to send a strong message that we will not tolerate this kind of injustice in Tennessee,” Rausch said.

The Volunteer State has improved its score ever since Shared Hope International started doing this report in 2011. Eight years ago, Tennessee received a letter C grade.

Shared Hope International, which is an organization that fights against sex trafficking, bases its rankings on each state’s laws under the “Protected Innocence Challenge Legislative Framework.”

This framework address state laws in the following categories:

  • Preventing domestic minor sex trafficking through reducing demand
  • Rescuing and restoring victims through improved training on identification
  • Establishing protocols and facilities for victim placement
  • Mandating appropriate services and shelter
  • Incorporating trauma-reducing mechanisms into the justice system

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Zachery Schmidt is the digital editor of Battleground State NewsIf you have any tips, email Zachery at [email protected]
Photo “Tennessee and US Flags Waving” by DoD News. CC BY 2.0.




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