Wednesday, February 28, 2024
Happening Now

Cookeville Police Department and Willow Bend Farms Offer Human Trafficking Training For Parents

The Upper Cumberland will learn more about the region’s part in the human trafficking issue during a Thursday training.

Sarah McKinnis is the CEO of the non-profit Willow Bend Farms which restores victims of Human Trafficking, sexual exploitation, and sexual violence. She will make a presentation sharing facts, resources and tools to help the community prevent human trafficking.

“You know we’re really heavily focused on that prevention piece,” McKinnis said.  “Because we want to stop it before it ever takes place. So especially with parents, understanding what happens in certain apps or certain platforms.”

The average age of entry into human trafficking is 12 to 13 years old, one of the facts you may hear at Human Trafficking and Internet Safety Training Thursday night.

McKinnis said she will be educating on human trafficking what it is and what to look for and what is going on in this community. She said Lt. Heather Marshall of the Cookeville Police Department will present the internet side of things and share what is really going on.

McKinnis said one of the many myths they will dispel is the idea that this can not happen to my family.

“I’ve seen trafficking take place with individuals who have multi-million dollars and both parents at home,” McKinnis said. “What a trafficker is looking for is your vulnerable point and how can they manipulate that.”

McKinnis said she has seen trafficking take place in churches and schools.

“It is not a crime that can be pigeon-holed,” McKinnis said.

Training will take place at the Cookeville Police Department on Thursday night from 6-9pm.