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Del Mar College combats human trafficking - KRISTV.com | Continuous News Coverage | Corpus Christi

Del Mar College combats human trafficking

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CORPUS CHRISTI -

Del Mar College is bringing awareness to human trafficking through their Transportation Training Services program.

The program adopted the Truckers Against Trafficking initiative in 2009. Since then, they have been combating the problems on the roads and at truck stops.

Lynette Cervantes, an instructor of the program, and former truck driver herself, has seen first-hand human trafficking taking place.

"You see someone that just looked out of place," Cervantes said. "They were just scantily clad, wearing lingerie in the middle of the day."

She recalled an incident that occurred in Albany, NY in 2010.

"I got a knock on the door, and there was this little girl," Cervantes said. "She couldn't have been no more than 12 or 13 years old. She was wearing a tube top and mini skirt and heels. And she asked me if I wanted a date... And she said, "If you're not going to give me money and have a date with me, then I have to keep moving."

Since then, Cervantes began teaching her students about human trafficking at truck stops, what signs to look for, what questions to ask, and how drivers can help victims.

Truckers against Trafficking is a large part of the training that drivers receive at Del Mar College. Posters are hung, wallet cards are given out, and so are stickers that are placed on the windows of trucks.

The stickers say "Do you need help?," along with a phone number to text or call. If a victim sees this as they are approaching a truck, it could be their way of getting help. If a witness or driver encounters an incident, that number is also a number they can call to report it.

Craig Mason is a new student to the program, and he believes it's beneficial to know as a truck driver.

"Since trucker's jobs is to go cross county lines, and go to different cities," Mason said, "and the fact that we have the opportunities, we want to contribute to helping these young girls out."

Last month, a new Texas law went into effect requiring training for truck drivers and commercial vehicle operators to bring awareness to human trafficking, and to learn how to combat it.

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