It’s been in the news lately but it’s still pretty damned shocking that we here in the middle of the Bible Belt are also the epicenter of human trafficking in the United States. Texas produces more calls to the National Human Trafficking Hotline than any other state, and 15 percent of those Texas calls come from Dallas-Fort Worth. The Justice Department has designated the I-10 corridor as the number one route for human trafficking in the U.S.

It comes in many forms, from forcing people into cheap labor to forced prostitution to brutalizing children into child pornography. To try to bring awareness to the size and scope of this problem, The Salvation Army is holding a Human Trafficking workshop from 9:30 AM-1 PM on Thursday, May 20 at the Mabee Social Services Center at  1855 E. Lancaster in Fort Worth. Speakers will include Donald W. Freese from the FBI, Kathleen Murray from the Fort Worth Police Department, and Deena Graves executive director  of the Fort Worth-based Traffick911.

If you don’t think it’s happening here, if you want to learn more about the issue or want to learn how to help, head over to the meeting.