GRACE - Governor’s Response Against Child Exploitation
The Office of the Governor and the Department of Family & Protective Services are working together to fight child sex trafficking in Texas. To improve awareness, service capacity, and prevention efforts, the GRACE initiative empowers communities of faith across Texas, complementing the agencies’ shared vision of a statewide Network of Nurture to meet the needs of children and their families.
We envision every faith community in Texas working collaboratively with the State of Texas and local agencies to end human trafficking, help survivors heal and flourish, and protect the vulnerable.
The GRACE collaboration will empower leaders of the diverse faith communities in the state of Texas to achieve our shared vision through education, advocacy, prayer, and provision of resources to survivors of human trafficking and those who are vulnerable.
Week of Prayer to End Human Trafficking
January 11-17, 2021
Faith communities across Texas are encouraged to unite in prayer, become better educated about human trafficking, and discern opportunities to prevent exploitation and support survivors.
Watch and share this video invitation from First Lady Cecilia Abbott:
Plan to join First Lady Cecilia Abbott and a variety of faith leaders for the virtual interfaith launch event on Facebook Live on Monday, January 11 from 6:00pm - 6:30pm. Texans can use the hashtag #TXPraysToEndHT on social media to share support for the Week of Prayer to End Human Trafficking.
Daily Prayer Intentions
During this week of prayer, Texans of all faiths and religious backgrounds are encouraged to pray about the issue of human trafficking in whatever manner they choose. In a spirit of solidarity and interfaith collaboration, GRACE members humbly offer these daily intentions for those Texans wishing to focus their prayers. Click each day for additional information and sample prayers.
- Monday, January 11 - Pray for an end to human trafficking.
- Tuesday, January 12 - Pray for prevention efforts and those who are vulnerable.
- Wednesday, January 13 - Pray for all those working on the front line to support survivors.
- Thursday, January 14 - Pray for survivors to find healing.
- Friday, January 15 - Pray for all those working to bring traffickers and exploiters to justice.
- Saturday, January 16 - Pray for an end to demand and societal factors that lead to exploitation.
- Sunday, January 17 - Pray for discernment on the actions you can personally take to address human trafficking.
Sample Prayers from Faith Communities
- Sample prayers from a Baptist faith perspective offered by Pastor Jay Abernathy of First Baptist Church Woodville
- Sample prayers and resources from a Catholic faith perspective offered by the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops
- Sample prayers from an Episcopal faith perspective offered by the Human Trafficking Prayer Team at St. Martin’s Episcopal
- Sample prayers from a Jewish faith perspective offered by Rabbi Neil Blumofe of Congregation Agudas Achim
- Sample prayers from a Muslim faith perspective offered by Imam Islam Mossad of North Austin Muslim Community Center
- A prayer from Bishop James Dixon, Community of Faith in Houston
- A prayer from Bishop Samuel Iglehart, Prelate of the Texas Southwest Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction, Church of God in Christ, Inc.
- A prayer from Kerri Taylor, Executive Director of Unbound Houston
Faith communities can increase awareness in their congregations and larger communities by educating on how to identify, respond to, and prevent trafficking.
The following videos and resources are suitable for mature audiences:
- Be the One: In the Fight Against Human Trafficking
- National Human Trafficking Hotline
- Can You See Me?
- Look Beneath the Surface to End Human Trafficking
Other targeted toolkits for leaders of multiple faiths and their communities:
- Engage Together Church Toolkit
- Fighting Modern-Day Slavery: A Handbook for Jewish Communities
- Freedom Church Alliance GoBox
- Love 146 Abolitionist Curriculum
- Shared Hope Faith in Action Kit
- UNICEF Interfaith Toolkit
- U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops SHEPHERD Toolkit
The Department of Family and Protective Services has partnered with Shared Hope International to help Texas congregations learn how to protect their youth and give them tools to protect their community. Learn more by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
GRACE encourages faith communities to move from awareness to action to meet the unique needs of their local area. Each community has an opportunity to discern its contribution through prayer, awareness, supporting victim services, or moving upstream into prevention activities.
If you would like information on supporting children in foster care, contact your local DFPS faith-based specialist.
The Governor's Child Sex Trafficking Team (CSTT) has regional administrators across the state who can help educate faith communities and connect them with relevant stakeholders.
In addition, local anti-trafficking coalitions welcome partnerships with faith communities to strengthen local efforts.