Trafficking: A Hidden Slavery
When we hear the terms "Sex Trafficking" or Human Trafficking," our thoughts immediately take us to a dark underworld that exists in other, less fortunate, countries.
NEWSFLASH: Trafficking happens right here in East Texas in our very own backyards. Many of the women we see in Longview walking on Highway 80, going in and out of slum motels are not doing so because they want to. They're walking/working because they have to in order to stay alive.
When Longview News Journal recently broke the story about the Kilgore College Student arrested on sex trafficking charges, it took many East Texas residents by surprise as victims were between the ages of 14 and 18 years of age. Unbeknownst to many, Longview and Tyler are perfect hubs for trafficking because: A. We lack awareness and understanding of what it looks like. B. We do not believe it exists in East Texas. So, we don't look for it. C. We have a major interstate (I-20) that runs right through both towns connecting us to much larger cities.
Fortunately, the City of Longview's Partners in Prevention has developed a coalition, ETATT (East Texas Anti-Trafficking Team), which brought people to the table to help raise awareness and expose the ugly truths of this modern-day slavery. On December 1, ETATT and Trafficking 911 with present a "Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking: America's Hidden Slavery" Workshop at Maude Cobb Activity Complex in Longview from 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Upon completion of the this event, participants should be able to:
- Define the scope of Domestic or Minor Sex Trafficking in the US, State, and locally;
- Determine the vulnerabilities of at-risk groups;
- Recognize the dynamics of pimp manipulation and control, buyer demand, and cultural facilitators;
- Detect victims by looking for physical and psychological strength based and trauma-informed methods of asking questions to identify victims; and
- Evaluate needed changes and strategies.
Continuing Education Units will be offered. Registration available.