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Social media post creates concern over sex trafficking

Posted at 5:29 PM, Dec 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-10 19:20:08-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Human traffickers are masters of deception -- that's according to New Life Refuge Ministries -- who fight child sex trafficking and modern day slavery.
The nonprofit says a social media post that has gone viral is not happening in our area.
"We have seen that posted on social media, it is not the truth," Tina Canary, operations manager for the nonprofit said. "We have not seen any reports of that particular manner of abduction."
A social media post was created and made its rounds by a woman in the Bryan/College Station area. She said after leaving the mall in that area she saw that her windshield wipers were zip-tied together.
Her post goes on to say that law enforcement in that area told her human traffickers do this to distract women so they can abduct them.
So is the same thing happening here in town? CCPD says, no.
Canary said human traffickers usually target and identify their victims first.
"The 'snatch and grab' does occur," she said. "But primarily the traffickers will utilize the developing of the relationship."
Canary said sex traffickers fulfill an artificial relationship convincing the victim that it's real.
She said human traffickers are not always targeting women who are alone, but children and men too.
"During the holiday season people are distracted," Canary said. "You want to be careful. Watch your kids and pay attention to situational awareness whether you're loading your car or out shopping."
She said the real scare is from women who are targeted through ride-share companies like Uber.
"But a single person, female especially, should not be riding alone," she said.
Executive Director Minta Moore said they have seen sex traffickers using ride sharing in the Corpus Christi area.
"This crime happens right here in Corpus Christi," Moore said. "Unfortunately, it happens more often than any of us know and often our victims are walking around right beside us and we just don't know enough to recognize them."
The nonprofit said the tragic truth behind it all, is that human trafficking wouldn't be an issue if the demand didn't drive the crime.
"I tell people if it doesn't seem right it is probably not right," Moore said.
Officials with the Corpus Christi police department said they don't like to play into the hype of social media posts that are not affecting our area, but they do want to remind the public to be aware of their surroundings at all times.
January is National Human Trafficking Prevention and Awareness Month.
New Life Refuge Ministries will host events all month long and offer education and training for schools, youth groups, churches and business
Canary said there is not a group that doesn't need to hear about this crime.

The National Human Trafficking Hotline (888) 373-7888.