Upcoming program to educate public on dangers of human trafficking

HOUSTON – Leaders said the biggest obstacle to stop human trafficking is to raise awareness and make sure families understand it’s happening everywhere.

“We ask and encourage everyone to join us and become a warrior in this battle against human trafficking,” said state Sen. Joan Huffman.

During a press conference on Friday, Huffman, Fort Bend County Precinct 3 Constable Wayne Thompson and Kelly Litvak, with Childproof America, called human trafficking a public health crisis.

A recent University of Houston study said there are 300,000 victims in Texas, many of them forced into sexual slavery.

“It is my firm belief that parents are unaware of the threat that is very much present; very close to their own children,” Litvak said.

Litvak said trafficking can come from social media, classmates, churches, even authorities in schools, and the greatest target is kids ages 12 to 14 years old.

Most of victims are in a vulnerable time of their lives -- dealing with a breakup, a parent divorce or a loss of a loved one.

“Some type of traumatic event that warrants that child vulnerable makes that child a target, and the groomer will befriend that individual and begin to slowly cultivate a relationship, building that trust, so they can ultimately make them a victim,” Litvak said.

Childproof America is hosting a parent education community event on Tuesday, Feb. 20, at 6:30 p.m.

It will take place in Katy at the CrossPoint Community Church, at 700 Westgreen Blvd.

People can register at www.Eventbrite.com.

For more information on human trafficking, click here.