This month, Renegade Group will be launching a new initiative to combat human trafficking. It’s an issue that our team here cares very much about.
Human trafficking, as defined by US law, is the use of force, fraud, or coercion to compel a person into commercial sex acts or labor against their will. Perpetrators can include relatives, spouses and partners, as well as acquaintances and strangers. Helping victims is challenging; they often don’t understand that they are victims, and those that do are often held in controlling relationships with their trafficker, making it hard for them to receive offers of help.
Right here in Texas, where our head office is located, the statistics related to human trafficking are deeply unsettling. About 50,000 trafficking victims come into Texas from foreign countries every year, in addition to those US nationals who are trafficked internally. Overall, Texas accounts for 25% of human trafficking cases in the US. Perhaps most worryingly, at any given time it’s believed there are 79,000 child victims in the state. There are a number of reasons that Texas is such a trouble spot for human trafficking. It’s geographical location is a significant factor, and there is also the sheer size of the state, with its long highways making it easier to transport victims long distances from their point of entry.
Renegade Group has employees and partners from all over the world; many of whom came to the US for very different reasons. War casts a wide shadow, and in the darkness the vulnerable become even more vulnerable. But human trafficking is not a problem confined to far away countries. It happens in peace time, in stable nations, and it is going on right now in our own back yard. It’s something we can’t ignore; we have an obligation to do what we can.
That’s why Renegade Group will be working to promote the National Human Trafficking Hotline, established and operated by the Polaris Project, by placing the hotline number on bumper stickers on every one of the vehicles currently in operation across the United States. It’s the first of a number of initiatives planned for this year, as we try to do our part to stop the traffickers. If just one person benefits from this effort, and finds a path out of their situation, we will consider it worthwhile.
We’ll provide stickers to anyone in our community of clients and colleagues who wants to join us in this effort. You’ll find some resources that we recommend below to help increase understanding of the issue and the ways in which you can help.
More information and resources
Most importantly the National Human Trafficking Hotline is 888 378 7888.
We’re grateful to the Polaris Project for their advice in setting up the initiative. More information about their vital work can be found at www.polarisproject.org
Texas Health & Human Services Provider Guidebook offers details on services available to victims.
Statistics are quoted from a very helpful Etactics article.