There was a time in U.S. history when opponents of the trans-Atlantic slave trade had to convince the watching world that slavery was horrid and against the laws of humanity. Today, modern-day abolitionists are attempting to make a sleeping world aware that slavery still exists. There are approximately 27 million people currently enslaved in the world today. It is a problem that our own community cannot ignore, because slavery exists in East Tennessee and is thriving. Slavery in East Tennessee takes the form of sex trafficking, in which women and children are bought and sold as property for the sexual pleasure of the “buyers.” Those most vulnerable to being caught up in this practice are run-away children. Many, once bought by a pimp, are moved around from location to location and sold daily to strangers. East Tennessee’s heavily frequented interstate roadways and highly populated tourist spots make this area a hot bed for this type of criminal activity. Pimps are able to operate in this area and go relatively unnoticed. But their victims are caught in a daily web of systematic abuse, drugs and brutality. Johns are able to “purchase” woman and children on Internet websites and remain relatively anonymous
Page, Cheryl, "Sex Trafficking Laws in East Tennessee" (2014). Journal Publications. 298.