NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee has announced a new series of partnerships to combat human trafficking in the state, including a collaboration with the Tim Tebow Foundation.
During a news conference Thursday morning, Gov. Lee said the Tennessee budget for 2021-2022 included more than $5 million in funding for key groups that aim to combat human trafficking and support the victims.
The funding included $3.5 million to End Slavery Tennessee, $1.2 million to Her Song, a ministry of the Tim Tebow Foundation, $600,000 to Tennessee Anti-Slavery Alliance and $100,000 to Thistle Farms, according to the governor.
“I’m excited to invest in and partner with these remarkable organizations that are at the forefront of this important fight,” Gov. Lee said. “Human trafficking has no place in our state, and I’m proud to support our law enforcement and non-profit partners.”
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said human trafficking is a “demand-driven crime” that involves exploiting a person for labor, services or commercial sex and particularly impacts women and children.
It is one of the fastest growing criminal enterprises in the country and cases have been reported in every county in Tennessee, according to the TBI.
“Thank you to Gov. Lee and the many organizations in Tennessee that have been working so hard to reach some of the most vulnerable people in our country,” Tim Tebow said in a statement.”Right now, there are only enough safe beds to serve 10 percent of trafficking victims here in the US – we can no longer let this be the case. Not on our watch. My foundation and I are committed to increasing holistic survivor care across the country and around the world through our ministry, Her Song, and look forward to serving alongside the great State of Tennessee to continue pushing back this darkness.”
If you suspect someone you know is involved in human trafficking, you can call the Tennessee Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-855-558-6484.