It seems it’s always been something that happened in someone else’s city, somewhere far away. But according to Stacy Lambright with Voice of Hope (formerly Lubbock Rape Crisis Center) that’s not the case – and it’s never been, either. “This lady is in my office, and she’s 30-something years old,” Lambright says. “She’s lived in Lubbock her entire life, and this began when she was six. Which means this isn’t a new problem.” When asked about how a person or city becomes a target, survivor Chong Kim answered: “One of the downfalls is, when we don’t recognize it the traffickers are looking for anyone to say ‘it doesn’t happen here.'”
According to a Voice of Hope study done in January, 88-percent of law enforcement respondents said they come across minors involved with prostitution, every week. And 100-percent of those officers, say they know those minors are in the business against their will. In the medical field, 40-percent of respondents say they believe their patients are being trafficked. One of the youngest victims reported was a pregnant girl, under the age of 10.
Right now for Lubbock, the closest resource for young victims is 14-hours away, and costs $240 a day. There is a training facility locally for adults who want to know how to help.
“What I do know is that it’s going to keep on growing if we don’t do something to eliminate it,” Lambright says. “If we don’t do something to address it, to educate people… To really draw attention to what it is.”
Learn more at Julie Musgrave’s EverythingLubbock.com article: Human Trafficking: The Culture in Lubbock.