Advocates in CTX fight to end human trafficking

Posted at 10:08 PM, Jan 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-17 23:27:32-05

Advocates are taking steps to end human trafficking in Belton. An event hosted at Arusha’s Coffee House aims to open the conversation about the growing global issue.

“It’s very close to my heart,” said Janiece Charlez, the mother of a sex trafficking victim.

Her daughter, Natalie Fisher, was bright and innocent but fell victim to human trafficking. She was killed two years ago in Houston.

“She was raised here in Temple. She went to high school here in Temple,” Charlez said. “It doesn’t discriminate, it can happen to anyone.”

Federal investigators are following trafficking routes. But advocates say everyone can help put an end to the heartbreaking trade.

“What people can do to get involved in that fight is to share with a friend what they’ve learned to talk about,” said Kathy Ylostalo, an advocate with Ark2Freedom.

Texas is the second leading state in human trafficking. Since 2007, there have been more than 15,000 calls reporting trafficking and more than 7,000 victims have been identified in that time period.

Nationally, there are about 18,000 child victims every year.

The group is gathering new or gently used purses and travel-size hygiene items. They are putting together purses for survivors and victims to use. The purses will also have encouraging notes to offer hope and encouragement. They are continuing to collect items for the project.

“The more that we can share awareness, that we can help to educate our moms and our parents. We are the eyes and the ears and the hands on the streets,” said Janet Brown.

The event was hosted by Ark2Freedom and Common Thread.

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