New Texas law targets human trafficking on school campuses: Survivor talks about being ‘groomed’ as a teenager for school sex trafficking

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) – New Texas law aims to reduce sex trafficking in our area, and especially schools.

According to a Senate report, 55% of youth sex trafficking survivors in Texas have been trafficked while at school or school activities.

“Instagram and Snapchat private messages are two social networking apps used to do my makeup, to introduce me to my ex-trafficker who graduated from my high school before I met her. him,” said Courtney Litvak, a victim of human trafficking. “The first time I met him was when he actually came to my old campus.”

Lithuania was a high school student when she was groomed and traded.

“There are a lot of people on rescue missions and they want to do something to be involved,” explains Litvak. “Where it begins, is being a victim and someone who knows they deserve so much better.”

The “No Trafficking Zone” law is now in effect in Texas. This means that anyone caught contacting, holding a meeting or picking up a student for the purpose of sex trafficking at or within one thousand feet of a school or school event will be subject to prosecution. face a first degree felony.

The same goes for electronic contacts, like text messages and social media messages.

“Children often don’t want to speak up,” explains Jennifer Hill, assistant executive director of the Child Assessment Center. “They feel like they’re about to be judged. They’re afraid to speak. So that’s really the problem, they don’t know who to tell.”

Beginning in February, HISD facilities will have warning signs reminding potential violators of increased penalties for traffickers.

Although other sex offenders, including faculty-student relationships, do not face first-degree felonies, officials say this is a start.

“The problem is we don’t know how big the problem is,” Hill added. “You wouldn’t know because a lot of them don’t speak up and that’s terrible, so many victims that we don’t know about.”

For more on this story, follow Pooja Lodhia on Facebook,Twitter and Instagram.

Copyright © 2022 KTRK-TV. Copyright Registered. New Texas law targets human trafficking on school campuses: Survivor talks about being ‘groomed’ as a teenager for school sex trafficking

Dais Johnston

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