Shell and Truckers Against Trafficking are teaming up during National Human Trafficking Prevention Month to raise awareness about human trafficking, an issue that plagues the Houston community.
Truckers Against Trafficking has trained more than 845,000 service station employees and drivers to call the National Human Trafficking Hotline. To date, they’ve helped to identify over 1,200 victims.
Truckers against Trafficking's Ashley Smith said just the size of Houston makes it vulnerable to potential victims of human trafficking.
"Almost 2,500 calls have been made by truckers, specifically, and that has resulted in over 660 likely cases of a trafficking identified, with over 1,200 victims," said Smith.
The statistics surrounding human trafficking are staggering:
- According to the National Human Trafficking hotline, Texas is reported as one of the top three worst states for human trafficking, with Houston having a large amount of alarming activity.
- 11-14-years-old, the average age of a victim that enters trafficking.
- 80 percent the number of women and children bought, sold and imprisoned in the underground sex service industry.
- 7 years, the average life span of a victim (found dead from attack, abuse, HIV and other STD's, malnutrition, overdose or suicide).
Today’s event featured the Freedom Drivers Project,a first-of-its-kind mobile exhibit that travels across the country to educate about human trafficking and how the trucking industry is helping combat. It includes trafficked survivor artifacts in order to connect visitors with the behind-the-scenes stories of those affected by human trafficking, as well as profiles of driver experiences on the road.
Shell recently launched Force for Good, an initiative to create better futures in communities across America.