Human sex trafficking: 'It's a growing problem in East Texas' - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Human sex trafficking: 'It's a growing problem in East Texas'

Saturday morning, Grassroots America and the Smith County Sheriff's office held an educational event on human sex trafficking.

The event was open for the public and almost a hundred people were in attendance.

Guest speakers from "For the Silent", say their purpose is to shine light to the existing problem of sex trafficking which mostly targets children.

Event coordinators say it's a crime growing across Texas and in our area.

"Statistically here in Smith County there are about 50,000 children and 1 out of 3 girls and 1 out of 6 boys will be sexually abused before they reach the age of 18. So you think about the size of Smith County and you think about those numbers and that's unacceptable," said Missy Zivney, Co-founder and Assistant Director of Refuge of Light.

The Sheriff's Office hopes through these events, that people can recognize sex trafficking and report it to officials.

"It's a problem that has been here that I believe has been overlooked," said Larry Smith, the Smith County Sheriff. "We hope we can inform the public and get their help to take care of the problem."

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