New report: sketchy ability to aid victims

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A new state study shows Tennessee must improve its response to victims of human trafficking for recent changes in law to be effective.

The state legislature passed a series of changes in law aimed at harsher punishment of people convicted of coercing adults and children into sexual servitude. Effective July 1, a dozen anti-trafficking statutes took effect. There are stronger penalties for traffickers and a longer period of time during which offenders can be charged.

But The Tennessean reports the study finds services to victims of trafficking are disjointed. The 97-page report assigns responsibility for responding to victims to the Department of Human Services and the Department of Children's Services.

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