Former Florida Gators star and internationally known Christianity advocate Tim Tebow has joined forces with Attorney General William Barr, presidential adviser, and first daughter Ivanka Trump, and several other high profile figures to fight against human trafficking.
Barr and Ivanka Trump hosted a discussion on human trafficking in Atlanta on Monday, announcing the government’s initiative that will award more than $100 million in grants for those working to combat the practice.
Barr announced that “This is one of the top enforcement priorities of the department and we’re on the forefront of this fight.”
The Trump administration gave the Justice Department $35 million in grants to provide safe housing for victims of trafficking.
“It’s only by cooperating with all our partners, our state and local partners and those in the private sector that we’re going to be able to make any progress and ultimately end the victimization of those boys and girls,” Barr said.
For his part, Tebow made it clear he’s not interested in backing away because of the monumental nature of the task.
“There are 40 million people around that world who need us. They need us to say, ‘no longer is it about the credit it’s about the mission.’ No longer is it about, well, we’re not going to work from Florida to Georgia or from right to left, we’re going to all rally together to be able to push back this darkness and push back this evil,” said Tebow at the event where he was accompanied by his wife, former beauty queen Demi-Leigh.
Tebow spoke to some of the atrocities being faced by those imprisoned, saying that it became personal to them after Tebo’s dad, who is a missionary, had an up-close and personal brush with the modern-day slave trade.
“You know, the reason why we got into this was because eight years ago my dad was preaching in a remote country and there were four girls that he was next to that were being sold. And he took out all the money out of his wallet which was $1,250 and he bought those four girls. And then he called me and said, ‘I just bought four girls and not really sure what to do now.’ And I said, ‘that’s ok dad. We’ve got your back,” Tebow said.
Today, Tebo’s foundation works with others around the world to put an end to human trafficking, and to assist survivors in recovering and reintegrating themselves into society.
Georgia’s first lady, Marty Kemp has made the push to end human trafficking the focus of her work while holding the title, and Barr acknowledged that during his address.
“The governor and the first lady here have been second to none in the nation in taking this fight on and working closely with the federal government and I really appreciate that,” Barr said.
Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr, who is an elected Republican, said he believed that the money allocated for housing victims of trafficking plays a crucial role in decreasing recidivism rates for those at risk. Carr said that a safe place means “safety and it means security, and it means wraparound services.”
National attention to the issue of human trafficking has increased in recent months as questions about high-level government officials’ association with Jeffrey Epstein and others have grown their awareness. While questions and hashtags have served as a great tool for awareness and a jumping-off point for many, some of those on the front lines hoped to remind others about the weight of the issue.
Tebow implored listeners: “We have to live with a sense of urgency to be able to rescue as many lives as possible.”