State Rep. Mary Littleton of Dickson joined law enforcement officials from across the state last week to address the issue of human trafficking in Tennessee. The freshman Republican from the 78th District has sponsored bills this session that propose to terminate parental rights if a parent is convicting of trafficking his or her child for the purpose of prostitution and that extends the statute of limitations from four years to 25 years for any victim of sex trade trafficking to seek criminal prosecution. At a news conference last week, the Women’s Funds of Chattanooga, Middle Tennessee and Memphis officially launced a public campaign to increase awareness and offer resources to prevent human trafficking. On Wednesday, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation announced the arrest of a Hopkinsville woman on sex trafficking charges after she allegedly brought a 17-year-old female relative to a Clarksville motel to meet a man for sex. 26-year-old Elizabeth Cook was arrested in an undercover operation that responded to an online advertisement for prostitution with a minor. Joining Littleton and Women’s Fund representatives for last week’s announcement were TBI Director Mark Gwyn and former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, as well as lawmakers from across the state. “I am grateful that this partnership has been created to address the issue of human trafficking in Tennessee,” Littleton said. “By working together, we will be able to shine a spotlight on this disturbing crime trend that is rarely publicized in our state.” In 2010, the TBI conducted a student that found trafficking and sex slavery is more common in Tennessee than previously known. The report says one in four children who run away from home is approached for commercial sexual exploitation within 48 hours and the average age of a sex-trafficking victim is 13. Littleton’s bill to terminate parental rights unanimously passed in the House Monday and is scheduled for consideration in a Senate committee. The bill to extend the statute of limitations is scheduled for subcommittee discussion next week.