The Georgia Restaurant Association, which serves as the voice for more than 18,000 restaurants in the state, is joining efforts to fight sex trafficking by posting potentially life-saving information in restaurant restrooms.
The signs raise visibility of the issue of sex trafficking, and include the National Trafficking Hotline, providing potentially life-saving information for sex trafficking victims.
Leaders of the association joined with Fulton County Commission Chairman Robb Pitts Monday at Chops Lobster Bar in Buckhead to make the announcement.
Among those in attendance was well-known Atlanta attorney BJ Bernstein who has represented many sex trafficking victims over the years. Those victims, she said, come from all backgrounds.
As a member of Fulton County’s newly formed Sex Trafficking Task Force, she was thrilled when she first heard that Georgia Restaurant Association is voluntarily placing the hotline signs in restaurant restrooms.
Georgia law currently requires certain establishments like bars and strip clubs to post signs with the hotline number. Restaurants are not required to do so.
"And that’s what’s so amazing of what the restaurant association is doing," said Bernstein. "It’s so important for those young women to see that there’s a way out because you never know when the moment hits them that it’s not right.”
Pitts, chairman of the Fulton County Commission, encouraged other municipalities to follow his county's lead. Its government -- which now only has jurisdiction over the county's final remaining unincorporated area, Fulton Industrial Boulevard -- passed an ordinance requiring restaurants and even convenience stores to post the signs.