Sex trafficking is typically a topic that stays in the dark.
Thursday night, two organizations came together to shine light on the growing problem.
A lecture was held on the Midland College campus, aiming to bring awareness to the community.
Right now, the problem goes beyond sex trafficking. If a victim makes it out alive, they have no place to go.
“In working with law enforcement, there are active cases going on with multiple agencies. all the time with victims of human trafficking and it’s here in Midland and it’s now,” said Dr. Cori Armstead, Executive Director of Reflections Ministry Of Texas.
“I didn’t realize how much on the rise it was,” said Tatum Dotson, Vice President of Leadership at Phi Theta Kappa.
Phi Theta Kappa is teaming up with Reflections Ministry to bring awareness to the campus and the community of Midland.
Human trafficking is taking off in the Basin and potential victims are being sought out at school, the mall, social media and most presently, on snapchat.
“The buyers, 67 percent are white middle aged Caucasian men with families. The victims are typically venerable populations,” said Dr. Armstead.
Dr. Armstead also reports, sex trafficking is not just a business run by men, 11 percent of buyers are woman.
Last year, the only business that made more money than human trafficking was Apple, according to Dr Armstead.
“On average, one victim can make over 300,000 dollars in revenue for their trafficker. Because on average, depending on their quota, they can be raped anywhere from 15 to 20 times a day,” said Dr Armstead.
The reality is, those sex trafficking victims, die after only a short period of time.
“The life expectancy for a human trafficking victim is seven years because of the poor conditions, the abuse, the starvation, the tactics to keep them and the addictions,” said Dr. Armstead.
“Whenever I think of some of our biggest global issues, I think of drugs and things around war but I didn’t think of sex trafficking. To learn that it is almost taking over drugs now because victims are renewable assets. It was shocking,” said Dotson.
Right now in Texas, there are less than 60 beds for survivors of human trafficking. Most of which go to victims under the age of 18.
Reflections Ministry is looking to make a difference. Their new facility will open in fall of 2019.
This facility will not only house victims, it will help the survivors get back on their feet and become members of society.
Dr. Armstead said if you see something, say something and we can start to make a difference here in the Basin.
The number for the National Human Trafficking Hotline is (888) 373-7888.