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UCDD To Host Human Trafficking Awareness Event Thursday

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
UCDD To Host Human Trafficking Awareness Event Thursday

UCDD will host an event Thursday to teach people how to identify and combat human trafficking.

Advocate Trent Carter said the training will help people develop an internal radar to detect human trafficking when they see it. He said people often believe the issue does not exist in the Upper Cumberland, but it does.

“You know, we have tunnel vision with our lives, so I think being aware of an issue like this will help people to be more aware of their surroundings and the people around them, and just maybe even to have greater compassion for vulnerable people in our society,” Carter said.

Congress designated January 11 as National Human Trafficking Awareness Day in 2007. Carter said human trafficking is a social issue, an economic issue, and most of all, a human issue.

Carter said attendees will hear from Willow Bend Farms and Power of Putnam at the event. He said the two organizations will shed light on warning signs of human trafficking that are obvious to the trained eye.

“I think people feel more safe in rural areas versus a metropolitan area like Knoxville or Nashville, and they feel like there is less crime and they just generally feel safer,” Carter said. “While I’m not saying people aren’t safe in their own homes, I feel like it’s good to not turn a blind eye to the crime that’s happening in our region right under our noses.”

Carter said he has been blown away by the support for the event that has already reached capacity. Carter said Mateo Huerta of Power of Putnam reached out months ago about putting on a training event, and Carter jumped at the chance. Power of Putnam will enlighten people on the ways that drug-endangered children are particularly susceptible to being trafficked. He said drugs and human trafficking go hand-in-hand.

“It happens all the time in and around Cookeville because we’re right off of the interstate on the way to Nashville, on the way back from Nashville to Knoxville, so it’s a hotspot for people being sold and bought,” Carter said. “Once I realized that slavery still exists in this day in age, I was horrified and really just still can’t believe that we live in a world where there are people that think that they can own other people like property.”

The event will be from 8:30am-10:30am.


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