LUBBOCK, Texas — House Bill 3721 reinforces messages that advocates are trying to send to victims of human trafficking in the Lubbock community, said Kristin Murray, the executive director for Voice of Hope, on Wednesday.

Laws passed in 2017 and 2019 required Texas cosmetology businesses to post signs that spread awareness about human trafficking.

“If you go someplace in the mall that’s offering those types of services, you’re typically going to already see that signage,” Murray told KLBK News.

However, House Bill 3721, which went into effect September 1, requires cosmetology businesses, including massage establishments and massage schools, to update signage by January 1, 2022.

One requirement businesses must include is the contact information for the Texas Department of Public Safety, which would be used when someone wants to report suspicious activity,

Murray stressed the importance of consistency when trying to assist victims of human trafficking, which she said the bill helps to maintain.

“If [businesses are] saying similar things to what the signs are saying, or we’re offering similar resources, then that hopefully gives them comfort [so] they know that we know what we’re talking about and that we’re here to help them,” Murray explained.

Another update made to signage will include information written in five languages, instead of three: English, Spanish, Korean, Vietnamese, and Mandarin.

“Mandarin is a [common] language in some of these massage parlor demographics, which really helps get the information in front of people in a way that they can process,” she shared.

Murray said Voice of Hope in Lubbock, a local organization dedicated to assisting victims and survivors of sexual violence, serves a “fairly large” group of individuals who have been trafficked, and she appreciates the work that the Texas Legislature has done to help victims and end the problem.

“I do think that the efforts to push this type of messaging out to different industries is helpful because I feel like the more information we have out there–the more chances people have to maybe sit in a lobby and read it–or their staff sees it and understands that there are people out there that can help them,” Murray said.