PERMIAN BASIN (Nexstar) – January is Human Trafficking Prevention month and local non-profits around the basin are stepping in to end an ongoing problem across the state of Texas.
We spoke to CASA of the Permian Basin and Reflection Ministries about what the organizations see on a day-to-day basis in regards to trafficking.
CASA of the Permian Basin is an advocacy group for foster care and Reflection Ministries is a non-profit that helps get trafficking victims back on their feet.
Media and Marketing Coordinator of Reflection Ministries, Darrell Johnson says that Texas is the 2nd largest state in the country for human trafficking.
“It’s modern-day slavery and slavery still happens in other countries obviously in the traditional sense but in America, it’s evolved into what it is today where it’s people being sold whether that’s for labor trafficking or for sex trafficking,” says Johnson.
Cynthia Warren, Program Coordinator at CASA of the Permian Basin shared with us how often trafficking occurs in familiar places. Warren says that a lot of the foster kids who age out of the system are more likely to be victims of human trafficking because of past trauma or the need for a place to stay.
“This is an Ector County problem, a state problem a national problem, a global problem that we need to get a hold of so it doesn’t become anymore out of control,” says Warren.
According to the Human Trafficking Hotline, a victim can be seen in public 8 times before being identified as someone who is being trafficked.
On January 11th, Reflection Ministries is asking the public to wear blue in support of victims that have been trafficked. The organization also sells merchandise on its website to raise money for victims.