LUBBOCK, TX - The National Human Traffic Hotline Released Case Data for 2016 on Tuesday, and the data shows a significant jump in cases not only in Texas but nationwide.
With 670 cases of human trafficking in Texas in 2016, nearly 473 of them were sex trafficking. Leslie Timmons with the Voice of Hope Rape Crisis Center said she doesn't think the rate of sex trafficking has increased, but that people are getting better about reaching out.
"This has been going on since the beginning of time but now I think people are becoming more educated and knowledge is power and I think we are recognizing it more and more people are stepping forward and saying this is not okay in my community," said Timmons.
She said in the Lubbock community and surrounding areas they have seen all kinds of circumstances of sex trafficking, and some of it has been gang related.
"What we're seeing is gangs are getting into sex trafficking because there's a lot of money to be made," said Timmons. "If you are selling drugs you have to replenish your inventory, if you are selling a person, you can sell that person 10 to 15 times a day without having to replace inventory."
According to the hotline's data, the top three types of sex trafficking across the U.S. were: Escort Services, Illicit Massage Businesses, and Residential.
"Most people in the industry start as children between the ages of twelve and fourteen and its very hard to get them out of that life once they get in it." said Timmons.
To learn more you can go to: https://humantraffickinghotline.org/
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