Sex trafficking day, Jan. 11, brings awareness to plight of victims

By LinMarie Garsee

January 11, 2023 is National Trafficking Day.  Sex trafficking and labor trafficking are listed under one large umbrella called Human Trafficking by law enforcement agencies.

Waller County sits between two major thoroughfares – Hwy 290 and Interstate Highway 10.  Thousands of vehicles pass on these roads daily.  Our local law enforcement agencies has the capability to work with other agencies. 

Local agencies have had “busts” that saved a few prostituted humans, though the numbers are low in comparison to other larger counties.  There are open cases involving trafficking.

Surprisingly, a normal trafficking stop will lend to other crimes.  These “stops” are sometimes done through referrals from other agencies, tips through Crime Stoppers, or even concerned citizens who see something  that they feel suspect.  There is no specific strategy or designs followed by the traffickers, thus making stops or arrests more difficult.

After an arrest, the person being sex trafficked is helped by local non-government-organizations.  They assist in housing, therapy, clothing, food and other necessities.  The victim is not left stranded.  Sex trafficking is not gender nor age biased.  Sources have said children as young as 6 years old have been kidnapped and sold in sex rings. 

Local law enforcement is provided training by the State of Texas Department of Public Safety and other sources on current trends of operation by the traffickers and things to be on the lookout for. 

As the saying goes, “If you see something suspicious, do not be afraid to speak up and let someone know something.”

Those who can assist want the public to know they are available to help; they will investigate the cases and properly work the investigation/case if the need should arise and can offer assistance in getting the necessary resources to help the victims. 

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