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First Lady, GRACE Commission, DOJ Announce Anti-Human Trafficking Grants

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The U.S. Department of Justice will help support efforts to combat human trafficking in Georgia with funds earmarked for the cause.

First Lady Marty Kemp, along with GRACE Commission members, U.S. Department of Justice officials, State Attorney General Chris Carr and others have announced awards of nearly $153 million to fight human trafficking in Georgia.

Kemp spoke with WUGA contributor Allison Salerno earlier about the need for GRACE. Which stands for Georgians for Refuge, Action, Compassion and Education.

“The GRACE Commission was formed in January after Brian was elected…we went to a press conference;’ Kemp said. “Stop Trafficking with the GRACE Commission brought 72 buses which represented 3600 children, both boys and girls, that are taken in human trafficking, modern-day slavery, every year in Georgia. A young lady got up and spoke about how she was taken when was four and half years old out of her front yard.”

The 26-member commission works to increase awareness about the issue.

Approximately $4.3 million is dedicated to helping law enforcement officials and victim service providers in prosecuting human traffickers and assisting survivors.

Direct assistance includes funding for counseling, case management and other services.

Grants will support school safety initiatives, law enforcement hiring, services for domestic violence and sexual assault victims, inmate re-entry services, youth mentoring, and efforts to combat online child exploitation and manage sex offenders.

Alexia Ridley joined WUGA as Television and Radio News Anchor and Reporter in 2013. When WUGA TV concluded operations, she became the primary Reporter for WUGA Radio. Alexia came to Athens from Macon where she served as the News Director and show host for WGXA TV. She's a career journalist and Savannah native hailing from the University of Michigan. However, Alexia considers herself an honorary UGA DAWG!
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