About 25 percent of the estimated 300,000 U.S. children lured into sex trafficking each year live in Texas, reports the San Antonio Express-News. Victim advocates at a press conference yesterday sought to lay out the scope of the problem and ways it might be better addressed. “We can pass laws, we can rescue (victims) all day long, but until we change the culture, until we address the issue of demand, nothing will change,” said Yvonne Williams of Trafficking in America Task Force, a Tennessee-based nonprofit that seeks to spread awareness about the issue of human sex trafficking.
Paola Garcia of Faces of Child Abuse, a local child abuse prevention nonprofit, said her organization had partnered with the task force to develop a special curriculum to be used in public schools to teach children about the danger posed by sex traffickers. Studies show the average age of children forced into the sex industry is around 12. Two-thirds of victims are female. Williams said a host of social problems feed the pipeline of child sex trafficking — poverty, teen runaways, fatherless homes, the increase in kids posting their images on the Internet, and especially the pernicious rise in child pornography.