ATHENS, Texas (KETK) – The state of Texas has seen 561 human trafficking cases just this year.
Last Thursday, Ashley Pugh, an East Texas mother of 5, decided to take a stand. She stood outside her community for a few hours, holding signs with numbers and statistics that showed the horrors of trafficking in our area.
“I’ve said it a million times, I will fight to my last breathe for these children to be saved,” says Pugh.
She’s not alone in this fight. Sarah Hammonds joined her, and created a Facebook page called East Texas Moms Against Human Trafficking.
“Just because they’re not my children or my neighbors’ children, that doesn’t make them any less important. They need to be found and they need to be fought for,” says Hammond.
Many adults, women and men, have fallen victim, too.
About 50,000 people in the United States are affected every year.
Human trafficking brings in almost $150 billion a year worldwide, and $99 billion comes from commercial sexual exploitation.
“It’s (Facebook page) not exclusively for moms or even women, it’s just a group that we would like to have. So that anybody that feels connected to this issue and wants to do something proactive will join us, ” says Hammond.
The group is planning to hold an event this Saturday at the Walmart near Highway 31 in Athens. They’re encouraging people to come out and show their support.