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April 1, 2015

We were cruising along 81 South from Bristol when I noticed the parade. A steady stream of trucks headed north and south, accenting the usual Tennessee scenery. Major highways criss-cross our state creating easy access from Memphis to Bristol, Chattanooga to Clinton, Nashville to Sevierville. While our infrastructure strengthens our economy and quality of life, those looking to exploit children commercially use corridors of transportation to create a marketplace for trafficking.

Truckers and Trafficking

No one knows the roads of Tennessee better, both rural and urban, than truck drivers who navigate the hills and valleys. Not every trucker is a trafficker, but truckstops host a reliable, steady stream of drivers and travelers, and perpetrators who sell children make those most of the opportunity.

TN is grateful to have organizations working to meet the needs of drivers who spend much of their lives on the road. Truckstop Ministries and Transport for Christ minister to drivers through chapels on site at truckstops. Truckers Against Trafficking works to bring awareness about human trafficking to those who spend days and nights on the very routes of slavery. If we’re going to end the trafficking of children, we have to talk to truckers.

This past week Street Hope was happy to send one of our speaker team members, Barry Perelman, to share with a group of chaplains who serve the drivers of East TN. Barry was able to share the essentials of Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking with these influential men who want to know how to bring HOPE to those driving big trucks and to those who hurry across parking lots when seen.

10 Reasons WHY truck stops are a marketplace for DMST

  1. Fatigue causes drivers to look for relaxation.
  2. Loneliness creates a longing for companionship.
  3. Isolation is common and convenient.
  4. Customers are readily available.
  5. Exposure is unlikely at locations away from communities.
  6. Law enforcement is only present in response to reports.
  7. Men make up the majority of drivers.
  8. Distance from home makes it hard for victims to escape.
  9. Pimps find easy access to county and state lines.
  10. Trafficking is a mobile crime maximizing the transportation marketplace.

 

If you’d like to learn more about DMST and how criminals use trucking locations, let us know. We would be happy to help you understand how DMST happens at truck stops. We will also provide 10 signs to look for to know when to make that call to the TN Trafficking Hotline.

Learn the signs of trafficking at truckstops and pray for the drivers and the chaplains who serve them.

[bctt tweet=”Truckers & Trafficking. Why & how #trafficking kids happens at truckstops & 10 signs to know”]

Human Trafficking Hotline