NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – If you think human trafficking is a problem in other cities and countries, you’d be right. But you’d be wrong to think Middle Tennessee is immune to it.

In 2017, 85 counties reported crimes of human trafficking.

A group of local women has made it their mission to help thousands of trafficking victims.

They are working together to treat the 1,100 children, and more adults, trafficked every year in Tennessee. Their message is that despite the staggering stats, there is help available.

“Most of the feeling is just being a woman, and seeing there are so many women trafficked,” says Cara Deese, a volunteer of Junior League Nashville, and You Have the Power.

In our community anonymous survivors are starting to share their stories.

“I took a shower and I scrubbed until my skin bled,” recalled one woman.

“He kept me scared, and if he wasn’t hitting me he was threatening to,” shared another victim.

Though emotional and upsetting, these are stories are being told to educate.

“I can’t know that 94 people are trafficked in Middle Tennessee, per month, and not go, and not care,” says Katherine Daniels, of End Slavery Tennessee.

Women like Deese and Daniels are uniting to fight this crime that’s exploded into the second largest on the planet.

“When you first get it, it hurts and burns and you start working,” says Deese.

She splits her time between a minimum of three agencies to help stop sex trafficking.

“As you transfer from being a single woman to a mother, then you start thinking, these are my kids that could be trafficked, it shifts to a deeper route,” Deese says.

This is a big part of an even bigger movement going on in Nashville and it’s surrounding communities, filled with eager and caring people.

“Knowing that other women are put in these situations and have no choice, it makes me want to help them,” says Lauren Saatkamp, a member of the Junior League of Nashville.

It amounts to an awareness for trafficking victims, awareness which is their mission to spread, to love victims into survivors.

“We’re not ending this right now,” says Deese. “But through the committees I’ve worked with and agencies I’ve partnered with that love has gone deeper because I do see the other side.”

End Slavery Tennessee is another one of those groups which counsels victims who’ve been trafficked. End slavery helps women reach the other side. The agency treated 200 people last year, the youngest was a 4-year-old girl.

For all the effort, human slavery remains a reality, but these women are waging a war and saving survivors.

“We’re empowering women and ourselves to go out and do something,” Deese says. “We are doing something, we are helping kids, helping other women find their voice. “

It’s a voice growing louder and larger and harder to ignore.

If you suspect human trafficking call the human trafficking hotline at 888-373-7888.