As we enter the new year, some of us worry about the weight we have gained and the huge credit card debt we acquired due to our impulse spending during the Christmas season little thought is given to human trafficking victims Why should we care about them if they are not friends and family. The media portray human trafficking victims as runaway kids, kids who think they are too grown to listen to their parents, juvenile delinquents who are getting exactly what they deserve. Like me, if you have no friends or relatives who have been affected by human trafficking it is an ugly topic best swept under the rug. Who wants to talk about pimp’s pistol-whipping hoes while passing the turkey dinner? We have been raised to believe not talking about uncomfortable topics makes them cease to exist. Out of sight, out of mind but that does not mean human trafficking could not happen to you or a loved one. Maybe it is already happening you just don’t know it yet. Your daughter or son could be talking to a pimp right now while playing a video game or on texting in a chat room. It is happening to someone you know right under your nose and the great thing about it is that you can do something to stop it.
Human trafficking is a growing problem in Texas and a huge problem in Houston.
The National Human Trafficking Hotline reports that 2,135 calls were made to the organization in 2016 (the last full year of statistics), up from 1,731 calls in 2015. Since 2007, 13,560 calls have been fielded by the Hotline. According to a 2017 study by researchers at the University of Texas, it is estimated that “313,000 people in the state are victims of human trafficking, with 79,000 minors and youth as sex workers.” (Houston Chronicle) Further, according to a study by Cheryl Butler in the Akron Law Review, about 25 percent of trafficked people in the United States are in Texas. Nationwide, about 22 percent of trafficking victims travel through Texas.
Human traffickers operate from Harris County, fort bend county, Waller you name the county and a pimp is busy recruiting. From the suburbs to hood, pimps are hard at work, luring kids from the safety of their home and into the dark seedy world of drugs and sex. Nowhere is safe, the purse the elementary schools, high schools, and the internet hunting down the young, innocent and vulnerable. Pimps are amazing actors, they will be your kids best friend, the father they never had until you must pay up and believe me the price is higher than ever imagined.
As concerned citizens, we all have a moral obligation to join the battle against human trafficking These victims could be your sister, your cousin or even your best friend. These victims will grow up to become someone’s mother so it is important we protect our future, children are our future, we must protect them. We can protect our children by empowering ourselves with knowledge, attend as many human trafficking events as possible. Support local authors who write stories about human trafficking by buying their books, create book clubs and share your thoughts on social media. Join or volunteer at a local human trafficking organization and most important know your comfort zone and do not go out of it. Now pick up your sword and let’s go to war
About the Author, Tola Lisa Vivour
Tola Lisa is the author of the published young adult fiction novel (The Dark Days of Esther). The novel tackles human trafficking and offers programs to help victims. She has volunteered and attended several anti-sex trafficking conferences, symposiums, and consortiums. She has participated in panels, events and workshops to lecture and support at-risk youth. health care administration from Grand Canyon University. Her goal is to give a voice to sex trafficking victims and spread awareness through her novel (The Dark Days of Esther) and facebook page (Tabular Rasa). She lives to watch cute YouTube dog videos and daydreams of owning a golden retriever or St Bernard one day.