One More Child Sounds Alarm on Human Trafficking During “See it. Say it. Stop it.” Event at Texas A&M University

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Anti-trafficking experts, advocates and law enforcement discuss myths and realities behind human trafficking and share how to effectively combat it

Anti-Trafficking Panel Discussion

Event emcee, Karla Castillo with KBTX News, moderates a discussion on the myths and realities of human trafficking and what can be done to effectively combat it. Panelists include (L-R) Jodi Domangue - One More Child, Blanca Denise Lance - Department of Family and Protective Services, Rebecca Bender - Rebecca Bender Initiative, Jon Hill - Texas A&M Health Promotion and Christine Labertew - Unbound Now.
Event emcee, Karla Castillo with KBTX News, moderates a discussion on the myths and realities of human trafficking and what can be done to effectively combat it. Panelists include (L-R) Jodi Domangue – One More Child, Blanca Denise Lance – Department of Family and Protective Services, Rebecca Bender – Rebecca Bender Initiative, Jon Hill – Texas A&M Health Promotion and Christine Labertew – Unbound Now.

COLLEGE STATION, Texas, March 01, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Experts, advocates, and law enforcement professionals gathered for a one-night event at Texas A&M University to raise awareness around the issue of human trafficking. 

Led by One More Child, the “See it. Say it. Stop it.” event at the university’s Rudder Theater brought in students, faculty, staff and community members to hear speakers and panelists discuss the harsh realities of human trafficking and how to recognize the warning signs of sexual exploitation.  

According to a study by the National Human Trafficking Hotline, Texas has the 2nd highest number of human trafficking cases in the United States. Out of 1.6 million online commercial sex advertisements posted in Texas, nearly 224,000 of those are believed to have sold children, according to recent data from the Texas Attorney General’s office. 

The fact that children are being bought and sold as consumer products is beyond heartbreaking,” said Dr. Jerry Haag, president and CEO of One More Child. “Every day we work with survivors throughout the country, helping them heal from the trauma of exploitation. As more people understand the deceptive nature of trafficking and how to recognize it, the more children we can protect from being harmed. That’s why we are here tonight.”  

Much of the conversation centered around internet use and how traffickers use online platforms to access unsuspecting children and teenagers.  

“The unprecedented access that today’s minors have to the internet has made them easier targets for predators and traffickers,” said Jodi Domangue, executive director of anti-trafficking at One More Child, who was one of the panelists.  

Local award-winning news anchor, Karla Castillo with KBTX News, emceed the program which featured Rebecca Bender, a survivor and leading anti-trafficking advocate, and her daughter Deshae Wise. Wise is a 2023 Texas A&M alumna and a standout on the University’s track team.  

Attendees also heard from speakers representing the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, Unbound Now, Texas A&M University’s Health Promotion department and the Brazos Valley Human Trafficking Task Force. Multiple exhibitors were onsite as well to provide opportunities for students to become involved in local anti-trafficking efforts.   

Speakers challenged attendees to take what they learned from the presenters and panel participants and share it in their communities. Another way One More Child is mobilizing people to join the fight against child trafficking is by recently releasing Anti-Trafficking 101, a free six-part video training series to help the public understand the nature of trafficking and how to see it, say it and stop it.  

About One More Child: 

One More Child operates in 19 countries around the world, meeting the needs of foster children, hungry children, single moms, struggling families and sex-trafficked children and teens. In 2023, One More Child provided direct services to 250,259 children and individuals while impacting an additional 143,334 individuals through advocacy, trainings, awareness and volunteering. One More Child provided more than 19 million meals nationally and globally. For more information visit www.onemorechild.org

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CONTACT: Joe McLeod One More Child [email protected] 

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