Anti-trafficking informational event held in Brentwood - WSMV News 4

Anti-trafficking informational event held in Brentwood

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On average, every two minutes in the United States a child is bought or sold for sex.

Human trafficking is the second-fastest growing criminal industry, and it is happening right in our own backyard.

Three days ago, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations indicted 22 men after an undercover human trafficking sting operation in Brentwood.

On Sunday evening, the public got a chance to learn more about this rampant crime.

Dozens of people showed up at Brentwood Baptist Church to take part in an anti-trafficking training event.

The crowd was captivated and at times stunned by what they heard.

Peggy Enochs learned about the event by email and made the trip from Nashville. She does not attend Brentwood Baptist Church, but she knew this was an event she had to attend

“I felt like it was a place I needed to be," said Enochs. “I tear up and cry, my heart is just so sensitive to it. I thought to myself, 'Maybe I can change one life.'”

Retired TBI special agent Rick Stout served as the keynote speaker. He warned those in attendance that what they saw and heard would be gritty and uncomfortable.

Organizers of this event say this needed to be a frank and informative discussion.

Vicki Howell serves as Community Missions Minister for Brentwood Baptist Church. She said, “We wanted to get real information about what is happening. If something happens, here it happens quickly. We not only need to be aware but we need to know how to recognize and we need to know how to engage.”

The purpose of the event is to help the public recognize and address human trafficking in Middle Tennessee and beyond.

The average age of the child being sold for sex is 13 years old. While Tennessee has been ranked as the toughest state in the nation in protecting children from commercial sex exploitation crimes, the TBI acknowledges that there is a need to develop more resources to aid victims and their families.

As for Peggy Enochs, she wants to take the information she learns and share it with others in her community.

“I always share good news, and it's always good news when we can make a difference in the lives of other people,” she said.

For more information on how the public can take a stake in the fight against sex trafficking, including some red flags to look for, click here.

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