Human trafficking awareness in Corpus Christi

A recent study from the University of Texas at Austin shows just how shocking the statistics are with more than 79,000 cases reported in the lone star state alone.

CORPUS CHRISTI (KIII NEWS) - Law officers tell people that human sex trafficking is all too prevalent in the state of Texas.

A recent study from the University of Texas at Austin shows just how shocking the statistics are with more than 79,000 cases reported in the lone star state alone.

The City of Corpus Christi is doing their part by recognizing the issue during Tuesday's City Council Meeting. Mayor Joe McComb proclaimed Jan. 9 as National Human Trafficking Awareness Day in Corpus Christi. In attendance at the ceremony were people with the nonprofit organization New Life Refuge Ministries whose sole mission is to help eradicate the problem and help the victims. 

"Hopefully by our proclamation today for National Human Trafficking Awareness Day we can bring that to an end in 2018 also," Mayor McComb said 

Working together to speak up against the injustice of human trafficking.

"This is happening in homes, churches, schools, in malls, it's just an epidemic, we've got to do everything we can to protect these children," said Holly Lewis Duvall, board member of New Life Refuge. 

According to Duvall, education is part of the solution. 

"Our organization is completely volunteering base, what happens is we have partnered with the greater hospitality association, we do go and educate them, you would be amazed at what they've seen," Duvall said. "For instance, oh I've had this situation before and didn't know."

A crime was brought to light in the courtroom in Nueces County back in 2016. A man was convicted and sentenced to prison after being accused of bringing a 15-year-old victim to Corpus Christi to turn her into a prostitute. Detectives said the suspect placed ads on the website back page with the girl posing as a 19-year-old.

"Getting the children out of the situation, saving them and providing them the therapy and the care they need, unlike just like any child who has been abducted, someone who has gone through any traumatizing experience," Duvall said 

New Life Refuge said the courts would hear similar human trafficking cases over the next few months.

To find out more about New Life Refuge click here.  

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