Sex trafficking occurs when a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion if the victim is 18 years of age or older. Any minor who performs a commercial sex act is defined, under federal and Tennessee law, as a victim of sex trafficking, regardless of the use of force, fraud, or coercion.
The term “commercial sex act” is the giving or receiving of anything of value (money, drugs, shelter, food, clothing, etc.) to any person in exchange for a sex act. Commercial sex acts may include prostitution, pornography, and sexual performance.
Some forms of sex trafficking include pimp-controlled trafficking, gang-controlled trafficking, or familial trafficking. In some cases, minors engage in ‘survival sex’ in order to meet basic needs such as food or shelter.
A Demand-Driven Crime
It’s simple economics, really. If there weren’t a demand for women, girls, men, and boys for illicit sex, there wouldn’t be a supply.
By and large, men are responsible for fueling the demand.
They also hold the key to ending it.
Over the past decade, Tennessee’s law enforcement officers have embraced the issue of human trafficking. Tennessee law requires law enforcement officers learn how to recognize potential victims and investigate cases in their communities. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation also runs its own ongoing operation in a effort to rescue victims, address demand, and arrest traffickers.
Helping Victims Become Survivors
The state of Tennessee leads the country in rescuing and rehabilitating survivors of human trafficking.
The partnership of public, private, and nonprofit resources continues to bring individualized care, practical resources, and compassionate follow-up to those who seek a way out of this lifestyle.