KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Across the U.S. a child is sold for sex every two minutes, according to officials. On average, they are 13 years old. And in Tennessee, nearly 100 children are sold for sex online per month.
So, an East Tennessee nonprofit is opening Tennessee's first holistic, long-term safe home for child survivors of sex trafficking. It is called Garland Oaks and will have 10 bedrooms for girls between 12 and 17 years old. It is meant to be a place where they can be safe and recover.
Several state leaders toured the home including District Attorney General Charme Allen, Senator Richard Briggs and Senator Becky Duncan Massey. Representative Jason Zachary also toured the home.
Without a safe home, survivors of sex trafficking often feel hopeless as they try to find resources to help them recover. Street Hope TN, the nonprofit opening the safe home, works to prevent sex trafficking and help victims heal.
Anyone who wants to support the home can donate online or purchase items for the home's rooms. For example, the nonprofit said they are still looking for tables and chairs for the home's family room. There is also an Amazon registry of items the nonprofit needs.