Houston Newsmakers: The harsh realities of sex and human trafficking

Also: Hadassah Houston plans huge luncheon to help combat food waste

Faces of sex trafficking. Pictures courtesy of: "Stopping Traffic Productions" (KPRC/Click2Houston.com)


  • Host Khambrel Marshall sits down with Rachel Fischer, a registered nurse who is also a survivor of human trafficking. She opens up to discuss her experience and what we can do to stop it.
  • A Houston-area organization plans a huge luncheon to fundraise for the Hadassah hospital in Israel, as a way to combat food waste.

Faces of human trafficking

Human trafficking definition: The use of force, fraud, or coercion in exchange for labor, services or a commercial sex act.

The smile of Rachel Fischer, RN in the above photo belies the challenges in life she has had to overcome to emerge as a leading advocate on behalf of women entrapped in human and sex trafficking.

My voice echoes for those who are still fighting to get out of it and don’t know there is a ‘What’s next,’ she said. “So anybody who’s still in the life, still in the game…we don’t refer to it as human trafficking when you’re out in it. You’re hustling, but there is hope. There is a light at the end of the tunnel you just have to know that there is another road.”

Rachel was 14 when she was first faced with sexual exploitation, a trend that continued for several years as she was taken advantage of by adults in the foster care system. Her initiation into the trafficking world matches the statistics of the National Human Trafficking hotline which lists the top recruiter types in the graphic below:

Statistics of human trafficking from PolarisProject.com (KPRC)

Rachel is one of the former victims of sex trafficking in the documentary “Surviving Sex Trafficking” and has trained for years to help law enforcement stop trafficking while also paying particular attention to the victims, who she says are being coerced at younger and younger ages.

“The average age is about 14 years old of entrance into trafficking so we see a lot of teenagers,” she said. “We see a lot of junior highers being trafficked and pimped out by the high schoolers, so it’s children exploiting other children. Parents don’t want their children to hear about sex. It’s a dirty word. People don’t want to talk about it. But these kids in reality are on social media. They’re hearing about this at eight years old. And so even in elementary school, we have kids, students exchanging sexual favors”

Rachel Fischer is a guest on this week’s Houston Newsmakers with Khambrel Marshall and says helping people get out of the exploited life cycle is not easy and there are mental and physical scars that may never heal. See this week’s Houston Newsmakers EXTRA with Rachel Fischer for more about the realities of human and sex trafficking and what we can do to stop it.

Find out more about her and her outreach efforts and lecture availability here.

Hadassah of Houston bestows ‘Women Who Do’ award to ‘Second Servings founder’

Barbara Bronstein, Founder, President Second Servings, Linda Freedman Block, National Chair, Hadassah "Keeper of the Gate" (KPRC)

Hadassah of Houston is planning a big luncheon for Tuesday, Jan. 17 to honor Barbara Bronstein for her role in starting the nonprofit Second Servings.

Bronstein is a guest on this week’s Houston Newsmakers and says the reason she started it was quite simple.

“I got tired of seeing good food go to waste, when there are plenty of people in Houston, one out of every five people in Houston is considered food insecure,” she said. “As a society we waste almost 40% of the available food.”

Hadassah of Houston is one chapter of the national organization that is 300,000 strong and is using the luncheon as a fundraiser for the main Hadassah hospital in Israel.

“It is a bridge for peace in the middle east, said Linda Freedman Block, the National Chair of Hadassah’s Keeper of the Gate. “You may have an Arab-Israeli doctor operate. You may have a Jewish-Israeli nurse at the surgery you may have a Muslim taking care of anesthesia and you may have a Catholic person serving your lunch.

Speaking of lunch, Tuesday’s luncheon is at Congregation Beth Israel. For information, send an email to: womenwhodo2023@gmail.com.

For more information on this week’s Houston Newsmakers

· Rachel Fischer, R.N., Forensic RN & Anti Trafficking Advocate

· Website: https://legalrnconsult.org/

· Barbara Bronstein, Founder and President, Second Servings

· Website: https://secondservingshouston.org/

· Linda Freedman Block, National Chair, Hadassah Keeper of the Gate

· Website: https://www.hadassah.org/chapter/houston

· Website: https://www.hadassah.org.il/en/

About the Author:

Journalist, meteorologist, community leader and volunteer.