NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – January is human trafficking awareness month. Beth Walser of Volunteer Behavioral Health joins Nickelle Smith by phone in the News 2 studio with more on the signs of human trafficking.

Walser says there are various red flags people can look for when spotting a potential human trafficking victim: 

  • Unexplained injuries
  • Branding or tattoos that look like barcodes
  • Claims of a significantly older boyfriend/girlfriend
  • Unable to make decisions without approval
  • Timid and unable to make eye contact

Human trafficking continues to affect the state of Tennessee with more than one hundred cases being reported last year. 

“Last year, there were 181 human trafficking cases just in the state of Tennessee and that’s just the ones that were reported,” said Walser. 

Walser said any man, woman, or child can fall victim to human trafficking especially if they’re considered to be in a ‘vulnerable’ position. 

“Vulnerable populations are people that are more commonly trafficked including runaways, victims of sexual abuse, impoverished people, those immigrating from a different country, and people with a juvenile or criminal history,” said Walser. 

To learn more about human trafficking awareness month watch the entire interview above.