Red Sand campaign raises awareness for victims of human trafficking

JACKSON, Tenn. — Local organizations are spreading awareness with red sand.

The Scarlet Rope Project organization and West Tennessee Healthcare are using red sand in sidewalk cracks to symbolize the people that fall victim to human trafficking.

They are also asking the Jackson community to help with that mission.

Amanda Johnson, with the Jackson-Madison County Regional Health Department, says they are hoping to spread that message across Tennessee.

“It is to bring awareness to human trafficking and how people fall through the cracks and are not helped or realize what is going on,” Johnson said.

According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, human trafficking is the second fastest growing criminal industry.

And Johnson says they see the effects on victims everyday.

“Trafficking victims come in all the time. They might not know where they are or what day it is. They might not have their own documentation. They can have branding on them. Those are signs that we look for,” Johnson said.

Julanne Stone with the Scarlet Rope Project says they are grateful for the organizations joining in to help.

Stone says their participation can hopefully reach more people that need help.

“This might have someone in this situation start questioning what is going on. ‘Is this right? Could this be that?’ We know that trafficking presents in a lot of ugly ways, and it is very confusing even for the victim that is caught in it,” Stone said.

Public Health Educator Shenika Bond says she wanted to make sure she does everything to give a voice to the victims.

“People don’t realize what these victims go through. That was my main goal, to come out here and show the world and let these victims know that they do matter,” Bond said.

The Red Sand Project is a week-long event.

There will be another event Thursday at the Carl Perkins Civic Center in downtown Jackson.

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