AUSTIN (KXAN) — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced the state is taking extra measures to fight human trafficking.
In a press conference Thursday, Paxton said Texas is one of the states in the nation with both victims and human traffickers. Part of his ongoing effort will be to release a a new training video for state employees that integrates media coverage, experts and survivors to train them with knowledge to help save victims.
In addition, Paxton says “Truckers against Trafficking” will be an ongoing effort to help get more eyes in the community to watch for victims and human traffickers.
Survivors and advocates like Cynthia Borsellino, the traffick911 Williamson County Juvenile Detention Outreach Coordinator, say these measures are critical.
“I cry because, oh my, we’re in a whole new season and humanity is awakening to real humanity, what’s been happening to these children, what is been happening to women is not human, that’s not human!” Borsellino said, fighting back tears.
Borsellino was groomed for human trafficking at the young age of nine. By 15, she was forced into prostitution.
“Nobody heard me, nobody was there for me and I was silent for many many years,” Borsellino recalls. “To be treated like a commodity and like something to be bought and sold, it’s disgusting and so I have to fight for that.”
Borsellino says many times community members and parents want to turn the other eye and pretend human trafficking is not happening in their neighborhoods.
“Parents: they’re worth you investing your life for them like your time so know them, know their friends,” Borsellino says. She explains that children with vulnerabilities like unstable homes or even lack of attention could make them a target for people looking to traffic.
Borsellino and her daughter are working on a documentary about her life in human trafficking called Honeychild. The film is in post-production and the projected release date is January 2018.