Governor Abbott Proclaims January to be Human Trafficking Prevention Month
Texans are a people who value freedom and recognize the inherent dignity of every life. We may find it hard to imagine that men, women and children are commodified every day, forced into labor or purchased in the sex trade for the benefit of traffickers, sex buyers and criminals who solicit prostitution. This evil is a difficult reality, but Texans do not shy away from a challenge. We were one of the first states in the nation to pass human trafficking legislation, and we continue to be trailblazers.
Our understanding of and approach to this issue continuously evolves to become stronger and more coordinated. Most recently, the 84th Texas Legislature responded to my vision for a statewide child sex trafficking program by passing House Bill 10 and House Bill 1446. My office’s Criminal Justice Division is now home to the Child Sex Trafficking Team, which is building regional models of care for survivors while developing and implementing statewide strategies to protect, recognize and bring justice for victimized youth.
No agency, organization or individual can solve this problem alone. I commend our state’s law enforcement officers, prosecutors and service providers who must daily peer into some of the darkest corners of humanity to provide help. I also thank courageous survivors, whose perspective is irreplaceable in this work and whose resilience is an inspiration to us all.
At this time, I encourage all Texans to join the fight against human trafficking. Awareness and education are critical to preventing exploitation, holding perpetrators accountable and supporting victims. Together, we can bring an end to this terrible crime.
Therefore, I, Greg Abbott, Governor of Texas, do hereby proclaim January 2017 to be Human Trafficking Prevention Month