Texas ranks second in human trafficking reports

Nearly 6,000 cases have been reported across the country this year.
Nearly 6,000 cases have been reported across the country this year.

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) -- Each year, millions are effected by human trafficking, typically used for the purpose of labor or sexual exploitation.

According to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, Texas ranked second in the country with 499 reported cases.

Oklahoma ranked 24th with 64 reported cases.

While human trafficking isn't a major issue in Wichita Falls, Sgt. Dan Buesing said cases are reported from time to time.

"Unfortunately there's millions of human trafficking victims every year, and they come through Texas. We have Mexico on one side and many states on the other sides. So we get a lot of that in as troopers it's part of our day-to-day operation," said Buesing.

Emily Kincaid, a trainer at First Step, tries her best to help victims of human trafficking recover and try to find a fresh start to life.

First Step offers emergency shelter, as well as counseling, all for free to survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking.

Kincaid said, "I would tell [a victim] don't carry that shame it's not yours to carry. There are a lot of people who are willing to help you if you just reach out to us."

Many victims are young mothers and immigrants that perpetrators view as vulnerable. The best way to help someone is by not staying silent.

You can contact police or a local support center for help anytime.

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