Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Tennessee Lawmakers Crack Down on Sex Trafficking While Mercy Ministries Helps Restore Victims!

Across the state of Tennessee, the horrific crime of sex trafficking is growing at a rate that even police find "shocking." This is according to a study of cases from last year by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and Vanderbilt Center for Community Studies in which four counties -- Shelby, Davidson, Coffee and Knox -- reported more than 100 cases of sex trafficking involving minors. The average age of entry into sex trafficking is 13, with pimps recruiting their victims by various means, such as bringing in children from other countries, picking up runaways and victimizing those in foster care.

In response to these findings, lawmakers unanimously passed a series of bills to protect victims of sex trafficking and crack down on those who exploit them. Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signed the bills Tuesday.

CLICK HERE to read Beth Warren’s recent article in the Memphis newspaper, The Commercial Appeal, detailing Tennessee’s multi-pronged approach.

It is such an encouragement to see Tennessee lawmakers taking a stand to protect sex trafficking victims and punish their perpetrators. Mercy Ministries has been helping victims of sex trafficking for years, and we continue to receive more and more calls for help. Studies show that rescue falls short without a comprehensive residential program where victims can be cared for in a safe environment. This puts Mercy Ministries in the unique position of being one of the few programs of its kind.

Executive Director of Communications, Eve Annunziato
Mercy Ministries Executive Director of Communications, Eve Annunziato, spoke last weekend at the “Trafficking In America Conference” in Nashville, TN about the work being done at Mercy Ministries. She shared the incredible stories of Mercy graduates who were enslaved in sex trafficking, but now have true restoration and freedom in Christ.

By supporting Mercy, you provide a safe place to live, Biblical counseling, life-skills training and transitional care for victims of sex trafficking. You also help us give them a voice, so America will know the truth about this horrific crime. While awareness is important, it is the love of Christ that will truly transform the lives of these victims. To find out how you can partner with us to bring hope and healing to these hurting young women, click here.

Conference Call

Please join us for a free 30-minute conference call on Thursday, July 21 at 11:30 AM EST. We will be launching a new End Sex Trafficking initiative that includes our Freedom Teams. If you would like to be a part of a Freedom Team, go to www.endsextrafficking.com. For more information and to RSVP for the conference call, email kmontgomery@mercyministries.com.