CONTACT: Stephanie Guerra, 210-207-7008
SAN ANTONIO (January 7, 2020) - January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month, and January 11, 2020 is recognized as Human Trafficking Awareness Day.
The National Human Trafficking Resources Center (NHTRC) defines human trafficking as “a form of modern-day slavery in which traffickers use force, fraud, or coercion to control victims for the purpose of engaging in commercial sex acts or labor services against his/her will.” Today, human trafficking is one of the preeminent human rights issues of our time, with victims spanning all ethnicities, genders, ages and income-levels in the United States.
San Antonio has become a key area for traffickers and victims as it houses two of the busiest highways, I-35 and I-10 corridors, which are major thoroughfares for illegal transport, and trafficking of men, women and children. I-35 stretches from Laredo, and ends in Minnesota, with connections to Canada. I-10 stretches from California to Florida which is the largest interstate in the nation and busiest sex trafficking corridor in the entire country.
A study from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services concluded that 25 percent of the nation's human trafficking victims are in Texas. This is not only on an international level, but a local issue too.
“Make no mistake; Human and Sex Trafficking is happening here in Bexar County, to Bexar County residents, by Bexar County residents, for Bexar County residents. We need to be engaged, and increase public awareness in order to make progress towards ending this malicious cycle.” said Councilwoman Viagran “This is a modern form of slavery, and I am asking our City’s residents to know the signs of human trafficking, and report any suspicious activities.”
Every year, thousands of women, children and men fall prey to human trafficking. Everyone can play a role in identifying victims of human trafficking by visiting the National Human Trafficking Hotline website where you can learn the signs of trafficking, gain information on the types of trafficking, and become familiar with the hotline.
To request help or report suspected human trafficking, call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC), which operates 24 hours, 7 days a week call
1-888-373-788 or text “help” to BeFree (233733)
. You can also reach out locally by emailing: PDSexCrimes.Unit@sanantonio.gov
or call the Sex Crimes Unit at 210-207-2313, Monday – Friday, between 7:45 am and 5:45 pm. After-hours number 210-207-7389.