January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month with Southern GRIT Advocacy

Southern GRIT Advocacy Raises Awareness to Human Trafficking in the Community
City Guide: Southern GRIT Advocacy
Published: Oct. 29, 2021 at 2:00 PM CDT|Updated: Jan. 6, 2022 at 10:29 AM CST
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - The News Channel 6 City Guide is a segment that shines a spotlight on local businesses, events, and nonprofits in your communities. In this episode, our host Julia Melim talks to Vicky Payne at the Southern GRIT Advocacy that raises Human Trafficking Awareness through Personal Safety Savvy education classes for kids and adults and offers resources to keep the community safe.

“One of the things that makes this community in North Texas susceptible is the intersection of the Interstate and the highways, easy access in and out of the community, easy access across the border to Oklahoma on two or three directions, and then easy access to Mexico if you want to get out of the country really quickly,” Vicky Payne, Southern GRIT Advocacy Executive Director said. “So Texas unfortunately is the second highest numbers of reported incidents of human trafficking in America.”

Human trafficking can be invisible, but it’s more common than you can imagine. If you see something suspicious report it to the NATIONAL HUMAN TRAFFICKING HOTLINE dialing this number: 1-888-373-7888 or you can also text “HELP” or “INFO” to 233733. Those resources are available 24/7 for anyone who needs immediate assistance.

“Personal safety and prevention education is a high priority (...) and everybody can educate their kids on their level, and for the little kids it’s just about personal safety, you don’t introduce the term ‘human trafficking’ unless they bring it up,” Payne said.

“For the kids to say ‘No’ when they’re uncomfortable, whether it’s an innocent hug from a family member (...) it’s important for them to be able to set their own boundaries, because if they can’t set boundaries in their own homes, then how can we expect them to set boundaries out in the world,” Gabi Whitten said, who is a participant in the personal safety classes and a mother of two kids who attended the GRIT seminar.

For more resources you can call 940-264-GRIT (4748) or visit their website for more information on human trafficking: https://southerngritadvocacy.org/

If you or someone else are in immediate danger, please call 911 or your local police. If you want to report a potential suicide threat, please visit the following website: https://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

If you would like your business, event, or nonprofit featured on the News Channel 6 City Guide, contact us at CityGuide@KAUZ.com or (940) 757-0691.

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