HOUSTON - A Houston child-advocacy group wants to raise awareness of the connection between human trafficking and the city's sexually oriented businesses.
The nonprofit organization Children At Risk hosted a guided bus tour of Houston strip clubs and illegal massage parlors Wednesday night.
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"Houston's demand for strip clubs and illegal massage establishments all fuels the market for sex trafficking. When you have businesses that are offering sex for sale or have a history of offering sex for sale, they are driving the market for those victims," Emily Freeborn, an attorney with Children At Risk, said.
A recent report revealed there were nearly 80,000 youth victims of human trafficking in the state of Texas.
It's a problem that is often hiding in plain sight.
"It's really scary to see how normal all of the places look and that they don't look that out of place, and I wouldn't think anything of it just driving by in normal life," said tour attendee Kate Freeman.
If you or someone you know needs help, you can contact the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline at 1-(888)-373-7888.
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