The Refuge brings awareness to child sex trafficking

AUSTIN (KXAN) — It’s a startling statistic: 100,000 children in the U.S. are trafficked for sex every year. For parents who don’t think it could happen to their child, Brooke Crowder with The Refuge, a center that helps child survivors of sex trafficking, says it can happen to any child.

“The common denominator among children at risk is their age. Twelve is the average age of a child that is lured into sex trafficking,” says Crowder. “It is runaways, high-risk teens, but it can also be my daughter.”

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) says of the children reported missing to NCMEC in 2015 who were also likely child sex trafficking victims, 74 percent were in the care of child welfare when they went missing.

Crowder, who is the executive director of The Refuge, says these numbers is why The Refuge exists. Located on 50-acres in Bastrop County, the ranch would offer long-term help for girls ages 11 to 17. Each girl admitted would have her own unique plan for recovery.

“Once we’re open, it’s going to be a place where child survivors can come to get all the services they need to heal.” The University of Texas is also building a charter school on the facility.

Earlier this week, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton launched the state’s first human trafficking unit. The unit will coordinate state-wide with police and officials to raise awareness about the growing problem. Paxton said the unit will be involved at every possible level to eliminate this issue in Texas.

 

KXAN.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s