Join the Fight

January 11, 2019 | Austin, Texas

We see the headlines and think: It can’t happen here.

But sadly, children are sexually exploited in Texas every day. They are forced to engage in sexual activity, often for the financial gain of their abuser.

January is Human Trafficking Prevention Month in Texas, and today is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day. I ask that you join us in the fight to protect the vulnerable and end this horrific cruelty.

Human traffickers hold men, women and children against their will, destroying their dignity and stripping away their individuality.

Through force, fraud or coercion, these victims are made to work — many times in the sex industry — for little or no income. Some are just young girls and boys, sold as mere property, as slaves.

Texas is a national leader in the fight to end Human Trafficking. I am proud of the commitment of leaders in this state to fight back, including my husband, Governor Greg Abbott. He’s fought his entire career to protect the defenseless. And he’s been a national leader in the battle against human trafficking.

Today, the Child Sex Trafficking Team in the Office of the Governor is working to protect children from sexual exploitation, help the public recognize signs of sexual exploitation, help victims recover and restore their sense of well-being, and bring justice to those who exploit children.

You can join the fight.

Learn more about the risks and possible signs of child sexual exploitation, including:

  •  Changes in school attendance, habits, friend groups, vocabulary, demeanor and attitude
  • Sudden appearance of expensive items (e.g. manicures, designer clothes, purses, technology)
  • Tattoos or branding
  •  Refillable gift cards
  • Frequent runaway episodes
  • Multiple phones or social media accounts
  • Provocative pictures posted online or stored on the phone
  • Unexplained injuries
  • Isolation from family, friends and community
  • Older boyfriends, girlfriends

If you believe a child is in immediate danger, call 911.

To report the sexual exploitation of a child, call the toll-free National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888. It is available 24/7 and is confidential.

Together, we can protect the vulnerable, help victims find healing and bring offenders to justice.

Learn more about how to prevent child sex trafficking.