Session to draw awareness to human trafficking

By Michael Foster-Sanders/campus editor

Human trafficking has become one of the largest industries in the nation, and Texas is one of the top five states for most trafficked individuals in the country, said NE health services coordinator Crystal Martz.

So, NE health services along with Josie Cargian from the organization Rescue Her will host a workshop called Sex TraffickingApril 24 to bring attention to the issue.

The workshop was brought to campus so people can know the signs to be aware they’re targeted or friends and family, Martz said.

The target population for sex trafficking is students who are in late high school or early college, and traffickers have become advanced in their grooming or luring techniques to prey on victims, she said.

A grooming technique Martz says is used to lull in potential victims is the modeling industry.

“Traffickers will act as legit modeling agencies and pay for professional headshots and send them to events, so they can gain access to personal information to force people into trafficking,” she said. “They will get your personal information from a fake W-2 to gain the upper hand to find out where you or your family members stay and threatening you that they will hurt them if you don’t do what they say.”

Martz said the main reason for the NE event is to bring people resources if they come across traffickers, or if friends or family do.

The workshop will take place 12:30-1:30 p.m. in Center Corner (NSTU 1615A), and students can register on EventBrite. For more information, contact Martz at 817-515-6222.