Mayor proclaims January as Human Trafficking Awareness Month for Elizabethton

Published 12:41 pm Monday, December 19, 2022

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Human trafficking is something most people don’t hear too much about in Northeast Tennessee however it touches more lives and homes than one might imagine.
For that reason, the Elizabethton City Council took measures to heighten the awareness of human trafficking as Elizabethton Mayor Curt Alexander made a proclamation during the December Elizabethton City Council meeting that the month of January 2023 would be Human Trafficking Awareness Month for Elizabethton.
One might ask what exactly is human trafficking. In its best definition, human trafficking occurs when a person is recruited, harbored, obtained, transported, sold, traded, or exploited through force, fraud, or coercion for the purposes of sexual or labor exploitation, involuntary servitude, debt bondage, or slavery, or when any commercial sex act is committed upon a minor.
In his proclamation, Alexander stated that it is vitally important that all Elizabethton residents are equipped to recognize and respond to the abhorrent reality of trafficking by disrupting the veil of secrecy that allows it to thrive for the purpose of restoring hope and healing to those affected, assuring victims they have the strength of their community to overcome their victimization experience.
Alexander went on to say that no community is impervious to the potential for exploitation of its most vulnerable citizens.
During January, residents are encouraged to remember and further the commitment to ending human trafficking in Elizabethton by focusing on the following measures:
Promoting awareness through fact-based community education opportunities to unite and equip Elizabethton to report and respond to this crime.
Fostering and celebrating the new and existing partnerships through fluid dialogue and candid conversation that pave the way for increased collaborative intervention and more robust legislation to end human trafficking and protect survivors.
Furthering an inclusive, community-wide response in which everyone has an important part to play and a moral obligation to work together in collaboration toward ending human trafficking and meeting the needs of those affected.
Creating space to reflect upon and honor the resilience, courage, and perseverance of human trafficking survivors in our community.

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