WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) - Wichita Falls First Step is urging residents to bring awareness to human trafficking during the month of January.
“I’ve seen it where the victim comes in and they have the GPS in their skin we’ve seen it right here in Wichita Falls and people just don’t see that side of it but this is scary,” said Michelle Turnbow, Executive Director of First Step.
According to the U.S Department of Housing & Urban Development, 300,000 children become victims of human trafficking in the United States every year.
“It’s dangerous because you’re moved around and you don’t always know where you’re at so you don’t know where your resources are. I think the idea that someone is drugging you so that you’re not coherent and you really don’t have the ability to fight back,” said Turnbow.
Which is exactly why officers in the Wichita County Sheriff’s Office are going the extra mile to catch those predators.
“Those extra questions and extra steps help officers determine that theirs not something else going on because unfortunately a man and a woman that might be a girlfriend, boyfriend might be a trafficker and a victim,” said Brein Conner, Deputy at the Wichita County Sheriff’s Office.
First Step wants to make sure residents know how to get help, if they ever find themselves in a human trafficking situation.
“What is in this community who can I call at that moment when I need somebody and set up a safety plan for yourself so when that moment comes that you can escape,” said Turnbow.
The Wichita County Sheriff’s office says men, women and children need to be aware of their surroundings and report any suspicious activity to local law enforcement.
For more help and contact information on human trafficking, visit the Wichita Co. Sherriff’s Office website.
For more information on signs of Human trafficking, visit the First Step’s website or call 1-800- 658-2683.