AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Texas has the second-highest number of human trafficking cases in the country.
TxDOT Amarillo along with the entire transportation industry is taking a stand to stop the flow of human trafficking through America’s transportation system.
TxDOT Amarillo Traffic Safety Specialist LaViza Matthews visits with teen across the Panhandle to educate and bring awareness to human trafficking.
“We, as a community, think that this is not an U.S. issue, but unfortunately, that’s just not the case,” said Matthews. “Romeo Traffickers, or men who use a girl’s vulnerabilities to fall in love with them, are being seen right here in Amarillo.”
During her sessions, Matthews uses a curriculum which reminds students that their vulnerabilities are not weaknesses.
Those vulnerabilities may be age, disconnected relationship with caregivers or peers, depression, bullying and more.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security reiterates the importance of engaging with youth in your life, adding exploitation can be masked in everyday conversations.
To get help from the National Human Trafficking Hotline (NHTH), call 1-888-373-7888 or text HELP or INFO to BeFree (233733).
To report suspected trafficking call 1-866-347-2423.