(Memphis) On the last day of human trafficking awareness month, survivors gathered in downtown Memphis calling for action.
It comes just a few days after the City shut down two motels on Lamar Avenue because of prostitution problems.
Over the last two years police say they`ve made 407 arrests involving prostitution at either the Budget Inn or Crown Inn but the people who are fighting human-trafficking say the girls that end up in places like these, don`t end-up there by chance.
After a moment of silence for victims, survivors of human-trafficking stood-up. One survivor spoke.
“We have 42 people who are not home,” said Kimberly Benson, who runs A Bridge of Hope. “Where are they?”
Now an activist, Benson is calling attention to the people missing right now in Tennessee. About 2,700 in total disappear each year. She says many of them are quickly exposed to the sex trade.
“Missing people can be exploited within 48 hours,” she said.
That’s why Benson says it’s important for parents to protect their children so they don’t get picked-up by a predator in the first place.
She suggests parents start by monitoring their child’s social media accounts and phone calls.
“It’s not about violating your children`s privacy, it`s about being a concerned parent,” she said. “People are posting all of their business on Facebook and Twitter and what they don`t realize is they are literally telling them where they are going to be, what time they are going to be there. It’s not really hard for somebody to track you that way.”
“Know your children,” said Colonel Mike Ryall with the Memphis Police Department. “Know what they do, who they are with and what activities they are involved in.”