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RESEARCH

To solve a problem, you have to understand it.

And in Tennessee, comprehensive research influences our state’s approach to ending human trafficking. Actionable data and real-life stories help lawmakers, law enforcement, and the state’s nonprofit sector develop innovative ideas to strengthen laws and services for survivors.

"TENNESSEE HUMAN SEX TRAFFICKING AND ITS IMPACT ON CHILDREN AND YOUTH"

In response to legislation passed by the Tennessee General Assembly in 2010, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and Vanderbilt University Center for Community Studies partnered on an ambitious project to understand the extent to which sex trafficking occurs in the state.

Among the report’s key findings:

  • 85% of Tennessee counties reported at least one case of sex trafficking in the previous 24 months.

  • 72% of counties reported at least one case of minor sex trafficking in the same time frame.

  • Four counties (Davidson, Knox, Coffee, and Shelby), reported at least 100 instances of minor sex trafficking in the previous two years.

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"THE GEOGRAPHY OF TRAFFICKING IN TENNESSEE"

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This follow-up study profiled the counties identified in 2011 as having the highest rates of minor sex trafficking cases. This research project worked to understand the underlying factors that might contribute to a child becoming a victim of trafficking, along with the impact of the Internet on expanding the crime of trafficking.