Public Safety: A Difficult Topic — Sex Trafficking By District Attorney Susan K. TreadawaySex trafficking impacts all communities, demographics, and ages. It is a very difficult topic of discussion. For those who have never been exposed to it, the statistics are shocking and unfathomable; for those who have lived it, the horrors play repeatedly like a nightmare from which they cannot wake.The crime of sex trafficking should not be ignored or overlooked. It is a serious problem in our country and our state. In fact, Georgia is ranked seventh in the nation in reported human trafficking, according to the National Human Trafficking Hotline.But there is hope, and there can be healing.Over the past decade, law enforcement agencies have worked closer than ever before with state and local prosecutors to build stronger cases that result in heavy sentences when traffickers are brought to justice in the courtroom. In addition, organizations provide services to assist individuals victimized in this way. Collaboration is essential in the fight against human trafficking. In Georgia, we are fortunate to have partnerships throughout the state working together to end sex trafficking. Some of these include:The Georgia Statewide Human Trafficking Task Force – The Criminal Justice Coordinating Council launched this task force in 2015 to protect citizens from trafficking and support the recovery of those who have been victimized. Targeted work groups within the task force focus on five elements associated with trafficking: vulnerability, recruitment, exploitation, withdrawal, and reintegration.The GRACE (Georgians for Refuge, Action, Compassion, and Education) Commission – Founded by First Lady Marty Kemp in 2019, this organization consists of public officials, law enforcement, for-profit and nonprofit organizations, faith-based groups, and experts on human trafficking. Together, members of the GRACE Commission pursue justice for victims and hold sex traffickers accountable.Statewide Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit – Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr launched this Unit in 2019, with the support of Governor Brian Kemp, First Lady Marty Kemp, and the Georgia General Assembly. Through this Unit, the Office of the Attorney General works with local, state, and federal law enforcement to rescue victims, arrest perpetrators, and prosecute criminals for sex trafficking.The Cherokee County District Attorney’s Office is proud to work with state agencies as well as local and federal law enforcement partners to ensure that all available resources are utilized when a case of human trafficking is investigated and prosecuted. We take this crime very seriously in Cherokee County and prosecute perpetrators to the full extent of the law.Ways You Can HelpIf an adult you know is a victim and needs help, please contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 (HumanTraffickingHotline.org). For domestic minor sex trafficking, Georgia Cares coordinates services to assist child victims. Contact the Georgia Cares 24/7 hotline at 1-844-842-3678.Sex Trafficking FactsGeorgia is ranked 7th in the nation in reported human trafficking, with 281 cases in 2021 (National Human Trafficking Hotline).In the United States, the average age of entry into sex trafficking is 12 to 14 years old (Shared Hope International).1 in 6 reported endangered runaways is believed to be a sex trafficking victim (National Center for Missing and Exploited Children).63% of sex trafficking victims were advertised online (THORN).7,200 men purchase sex from a minor every month in Georgia, accounting for 8,700 sex acts (The Schapiro Group).