NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Gov. Bill Lee announced a new series of partnerships Thursday to fight human trafficking in Tennessee.

According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, human trafficking exploits a person for labor, services or commercial sex. It particularly impacts women and children. TBI says that cases have been reported in every county in the state and it is one of the fastest-growing crimes in the country.

“I’m excited to invest in and partner with these remarkable organizations that are at the forefront of this important fight,” Lee said. “Human trafficking has no place in our state, and I’m proud to support our law enforcement and nonprofit partners.”

This new partnership will partner with the End Slavery Tennessee, Grow Free Tennessee, Thistle Farms, Restore Corps, and the Tim Tebow Foundation.

One survivor of human trafficking, who now works at Thistle Farms, spoke about how Thistle Farms helped her get a chance at starting her life, and she described these partnerships an “incredible act of love” that she is happy to be a part of.

We need everybody in this fight. […] Everyone has worth and everyone is worth fighting for.”

Tim Tebow, Tim Tebow Foundation

The Tennessee budget for fiscal year 2021-22 included more than $5 million in funding for key groups fighting human trafficking and supporting victims including:

  • $3.5M to End Slavery Tennessee
  • $1.2M to Her Song, a Ministry of the Tim Tebow Foundation
  • $600K to Tennessee Anti-Slavery Alliance
  • $100K to Thistle Farms

If you suspect someone you know is involved in human trafficking, call the Tennessee Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-855-558-6484.