'Walk for Freedom' held in Mission to address modern-day slavery
On Oct. 14, thousands across the world participated in a ‘Walk for Freedom’ to raise awareness about the millions of people who are trapped in modern-day slavery.
The city of Mission is one of the 600 cities and 50 countries where the walk took place. The walks are put on by a global Anti-Human Trafficking organization called A21.
"One of the crazy things is that its hidden among our communities,” said A21 volunteer Priscilla West. “I mean, people going to our churches, people in our schools-- would never even think that they are going through this binded slavery. Its mental, its physical abuse, its sexual abuse, its forced labor."
Every 30 seconds someone becomes a slave and 99 percent of those victims are never rescued. In the United States alone, more than 25,500 cases of human trafficking are reported. That's eight cases a day.
"If you see something say something,” said Founder of Tamar’s Tapestry Tracy Hughes. “If you have a feeling that something is not quite right, it probably isn't. Number one: do not approach the victim. You have no idea who is watching her and who has control of her. My advice is to call law enforcement and there is a national hotline that they can call."
Hughes adds that the top three demographics exploited in the Rio Grande Valley are immigrants because they're prime targets with no way to document them, young local women sold online and girls brought here from other parts of the country.
If you feel someone needs help or you yourself need help, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888- 373-7888.