Human Trafficking Awareness
Raising awareness in Texoma
SHERMAN, Texas (KXII) - January is National Human Trafficking Awareness Month, and it is to shed light on modern day slavery.
“This isn’t just a local problem or a state problem, but a national problem. it brings understanding to the people that it does occur, and unfortunately, it occurs more than most of us know,” said Van Alstyne Chief of Police Tim Barnes.
A major route for human trafficking is US 75, and it’s right here in our backyard. Dallas ranks in the top 10 us cities for human trafficking with Texas being ranked the second in the country. US 75 is a thoroughfare linking the southern portion of the U.S. to the north. It is also one of the heaviest traveled road ways in the state of Texas.
There has been a big push to educate the officers and the public. The Department of Justice has created the Blue Campaign to help people recognize the signs of human trafficking. It helps people identify a victim and could even save a life.
The statistics are staggering;
- 60% of people trafficked are minors
- the average age is between 13 and 15.
- runaways are the highest at risk group and that is because they can be trafficked within 48 hours of running away from home.
- there are 79,000 victims of youth and minor sex trafficking in Texas at any given time.
To report suspicious activity to the Department of Homeland Security,
The tip line: 866-DHS-2-ICE (866-347-2423)
They have trained specialists that can answer your calls 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week.
National Human Trafficking Hotline:
You can text “HELP” or “INFO” to 233 733 (be free)
Local: 903-893-5615 (24/7)
“If you see any suspicious activity, reach out to local authorities,” Chief Barnes said. “If it doesn’t look right, then it’s probably not right.”
The blue campaign helps law enforcement connect victims to vital services. The goal is to help individuals affected to restore their dignity and provide them with the resources to heal. For additional educational resources, Texas has created a training video called “Be The One.” The campaign was designed to educate and inform people in fight against human trafficking.
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