Voices of East Texas hold forum on prostitution in East Texas
TYLER, TX (KLTV) - The Voices of East Texas hosted a community forum where law enforcement, community members, and local college students gathered to discuss the reality of prostitution in East Texas.
Voices of East Texas member Mary Linehan said she organized the event to educate people on the severity of sex trafficking.
"This is a large problem, [...] women, men, and children are victimized," she said. "It's a horrible way of life but it's sometimes necessary and there is hope there are avenues, there are ways out but it is a lot of work."
Linehan said East Texas is viewed as a critical part of the sex trafficking network between Dallas and Houston.
Survivor Karen Green spoke at the forum about resources for people who want to get out. She said she was a victim of sex trafficking for years and appreciates the opportunity to help others.
"It means so much to me because I remember me being out there, and going through and hurting and the pain being so great that I didn't understand, you know and there was no help for me," she said.
Green wants people to know that sex trafficking is going on across the United States including small towns in East Texas.
"But these are the towns where it's really going on where there's not a whole lot of attention," she said. "They're floating under the radar as they say; so education is needed, programs, awareness like this are needed to bring the awareness here."
Organizers said they hope forums like this give a voice to those that aren't always heard.
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