PERMIAN BASIN, Texas (Nexstar) – The Texas Department of Public Safety stated, “Human Trafficking is modern-day slavery.” As January is Sex Trafficking prevention month, the Permian Basin wants you to be aware.

The Texas Department of Public Safety says the victims are as young as 12-years-old. Over the years, they have rescued about 500 children of a sex trafficking victims.

Human trafficking is rising as the population in Midland and Odessa grows.

Sergeant Steven Blanco said, “Human trafficking presents a unique challenge to this area… the oilfield brings in a lot of people from all over the United States… and the problem we are having at the US/Mexico border.”

Now victims are coming forward anonymously with their stories. One victim said she is a survivor. She says it happened to her when she was just 18 years old. A man picked her up in a semi-truck, took her to a random field, sexually assaulted her, and dropped her off on the side of the road. She also states that PTSD and trauma rise between her and anyone, including family members.

As men and women come forward, DPS encourages to call them to handle the situation as they have a plan in place. Another option is to call the National Sex Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888.