LUBBOCK, Texas — The Lubbock Police Department identified 6 women who were victims to human trafficking in the investiagation of a prostitution sting.
LPD, Open Door, and Voice of Hope see human trafficking in many forms.
“We have seen more cases in the past couple of years than we’ve seen in years before. The state is ramping up enforcement, human trafficking in every community. So we’re seeing quite a bit of it.” Captian Joshua Crouch, Special Operations Divisions Commander, said.
Crouch also said that the human trafficking trends are all different.
“It can be some guy in the neighborhood that that’s a terrific con artist, and cons a man into human trafficking and prostitution… it’s over social media networks. A lot of times we’ve seen where a young lady has a friend that’s involved in it, and she and tosses her friend to come into that line of work and, and then she’s trafficked.” Crouch said.
Voice of Hope said they had 58 new cases of trafficking in 2021.
“Each case looks different, it could be that it’s a single mom trying to put food on the table” Leslie Timmons, Community Director at Voice of Hope, said.
As Voice of Hope continues to serve those affected by sexual assault and trafficking, Voice of Hope and Open Door Survivor Housing say there is hope at every level.
Open Door Survivor Housing said trafficking is very complicated as there are many layers and vulnerabilities for a person transitioning out of trauma, and will need different kind of support.
“Its important for people to understand the significance of the buying of sex because that is really what is promoting the trafficking and so if we don’t address the buying and if we don’t address the culture we are living in that creates a space that, I’m here to take from you and that my happiness is more important and we don’t care of the cost of human life than I think we are going to continue to see these issues and they are going to reroute in what they look like.” Jaime Wheeler, Director of Open Door Survivor Housing, said.
If you or someone you know is a victim of human trafficking, there are several ways to get help:
- Call 911
- Call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888
- Call the Voice of Hope Hotline at 806-763-7273
- Visit the Voice of Hope website here.
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