Local News

Apr 7, 2014 7:10 AM by Miranda Leah - @MirandaLeahKRIS

Fight to End Modern Day Slavery

CORPUS CHRISTI - It's a crime that many people call "modern day slavery," and now, they're fighting to end it.

1 out of every 5 victims of human trafficking pass through Texas highways. That's according to the Justice Department, which lists both Houston and El Paso as the most intense trafficking cities in the country. This week, South Texas is doing it's part to change that.

The Coastal Bend Coalition Against Modern Day Slavery is holding events all week to encourage everyone to speak out.

"If you're a victim of human trafficking, you really don't have a voice. No one hears you," said event organizer Marlene Villarreal. "We learned today that we can be a voice for the voiceless."

She emphasized that while anyone can be a victim of human trafficking, certain populations are more vulnerable. Undocumented immigrants, runaways, and homeless youth are often direct targets. Most victims in the U.S. are being taken at around 13-years-old.

Villarreal is dedicated to helping victims escape the bondage they've been trapped in for almost their entire lives.

"Above and beyond everything else, it's just seeing someone walk in freedom," said Villarreal. "I don't mean just from being held in bondage physically, I mean an emotional, mental, spiritual freedom."

She said events like this week's are bringing victims are one step closer to experiencing that freedom.

April 7th - TAMU-CC Human Trafficking Awareness Day
April 8th - City of Corpus Christi Proclamation at 11:15 AM
April 11th - Human Trafficking Symposium at Del Mar Economic Development Center from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM


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