Anti-human trafficking rally planned for Wednesday - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Anti-human trafficking rally planned for Wednesday


The Smith County Sheriff's Office is working with several organizations to publicize and prevent human trafficking that they say is taking place right here in East Texas.

On Wednesday, there will be an event dedicated to informing people on this growing problem, which, it seems, many have associated with a crime that takes place on foreign soil.

"I've worked in Bangkok, Thailand where there is a lot of human trafficking going on inside that country, so that is what I first thought about," said Sheriff Larry Smith.

However, now having worked for the county, Sheriff Smith says his eyes have been opened to the growing problem right here in East Texas.  

"We're just now finding out that it has been going on for a long time. I believe it is growing because of the, I'll just go ahead and say it, the open borders we have," said Sheriff Smith.

Tasha Meyer is the leader of Liberty Task Force, one of three organizations in Tyler dedicated to preventing human trafficking.

"We're actually mentoring a survivor right now that is from the Tyler/Longview area, and it's very real," Meyer said. 

"The healing process that God has done in her life in the last six months is night and day. You wouldn't even recognize her. So, it's amazing there's so much hope that can be done in the lives of survivors and we also believe in traffickers because like I said, they were probably once abused themselves and so, we need to hit the root of the problem with the traffickers as well as helping the survivors," Meyer explained.

Their mission does not end there, as they dedicate their efforts to teaching East Texans how you can make a difference.

Tyler's Anti-Human Trafficking Day Rally is scheduled to take place in the Tyler downtown square at noon.

The hosts of this event, Liberty Task Force, For The Silent, and Refuge of Light hope to inform East Texans about the local impact human trafficking has, as well as the steps they have in place to make a difference.

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