Students raise awareness about sex trafficking in Middle TN - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Students raise awareness about sex trafficking in Middle TN

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Sex trafficking may seem like a crime that only happens in other countries far away, but it unfortunately happens every day in Middle Tennessee, so a group of students is working to do something about it.

The teenagers are part of a statewide mission to help save girls just like themselves.

It began as a class project, but the topic hit a nerve for many.

"We started off our campaign by doing a survey, and we did it during lunch. We asked them if they knew that sex trafficking was happening in our state or community. And half the people didn't even know what sex trafficking was or even that it was happening in our community," said Mackenzie Morgan, a student at Station Camp High School.

But with the help of a national anti-trafficking organization, posters and a huge billboard over downtown Nashville got the message out.

And the numbers are shocking. More than 100 cases of sex trafficking have been reported in Davidson County since 2011.

Social networks are often an open door for predators to create a relationship, show some affection and enticing things like clothes, food or whatever their victim may need. With that one little connection, the victim gets hooked.

"Nashville, in particular, has three major interstates that run through: 24, 65 and 40. You will find those girls moving among all of those interstates on a routine basis," said Estie Harris, with the Women's Fund.

Sex trafficking has been a low risk/high reward crime for years.

"You could make $1,000 or $1,500 a night off a 14-year-old girl," said Margie Quin, with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. "Three years ago, it was a Class A misdemeanor. So you don't even serve a year to sell a 14-year-old girl in the state of Tennessee three years ago. But now, it is a Class A and B felony, which are the highest felonies in the state of Tennessee."

As for help, these students are no longer focused on a grade in class. They've raised $11,000 and plan on doing more fundraisers for victims this fall.

Copyright 2013 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

  • South Carolina news on WIStv.comNEWSMore>>

  • Grand jury indicts Missouri governor who admitted affair

    Grand jury indicts Missouri governor who admitted affair

    Thursday, February 22 2018 5:35 PM EST2018-02-22 22:35:21 GMT
    Friday, February 23 2018 3:35 AM EST2018-02-23 08:35:36 GMT
    A St. Louis grand jury indicted Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens on a felony invasion of privacy charge related to the Republican's affair with a woman in 2015. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)A St. Louis grand jury indicted Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens on a felony invasion of privacy charge related to the Republican's affair with a woman in 2015. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)

    A St. Louis grand jury has indicted Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens on a felony invasion of privacy charge related to the Republican's affair with a woman in 2015.

    More >>

    A St. Louis grand jury has indicted Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens on a felony invasion of privacy charge related to the Republican's affair with a woman in 2015.

    More >>
  • Florida school shooting: 'abject breakdown at all levels'

    Florida school shooting: 'abject breakdown at all levels'

    Thursday, February 22 2018 11:34 PM EST2018-02-23 04:34:46 GMT
    Friday, February 23 2018 3:35 AM EST2018-02-23 08:35:33 GMT
    (Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP). Mourners attend the funeral service for Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School assistant football coach, Aaron Feis. at the Church by the Glades in Coral Springs, Fla., Thursday, Feb. 22. 2018. Football p...(Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP). Mourners attend the funeral service for Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School assistant football coach, Aaron Feis. at the Church by the Glades in Coral Springs, Fla., Thursday, Feb. 22. 2018. Football p...

    'Abject breakdown on all levels': Florida high school where ex-student accused of fatally shooting 17 people reopening to teachers Friday amid revelations an armed officer on campus did nothing to stop suspect,...

    More >>

    'Abject breakdown on all levels': Florida high school where ex-student accused of fatally shooting 17 people reopening to teachers Friday amid revelations an armed officer on campus did nothing to stop suspect, other issues.

    More >>
  • The Latest: Ivanka Trump arrives in South Korea for Olympics

    The Latest: Ivanka Trump arrives in South Korea for Olympics

    Thursday, February 22 2018 8:44 PM EST2018-02-23 01:44:26 GMT
    Friday, February 23 2018 3:35 AM EST2018-02-23 08:35:04 GMT
    (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue). Alina Zagitova of the Olympic Athletes of Russia performs during the women's short program figure skating in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018.(AP Photo/Bernat Armangue). Alina Zagitova of the Olympic Athletes of Russia performs during the women's short program figure skating in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018.

    The Russians have a good shot at winning their first gold medal of the Pyeongchang Olympics when teenage figure skaters Alina Zagitova and Evgenia Medvedeva take the ice for the women's free skate.

    More >>

    The Russians have a good shot at winning their first gold medal of the Pyeongchang Olympics when teenage figure skaters Alina Zagitova and Evgenia Medvedeva take the ice for the women's free skate.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly