There are an estimated 313,000 victims of human trafficking in Texas. Close to 79,000 of those are minors and youth victims of sex trafficking. About 234,00 are victims of labor trafficking, according to a new study by the Institute on Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault at The University of Texas at Austin School of Social Work.
Human trafficking is defined as one person "controlled through violence, deception or coercion in situations of commercial sex, forced labor, or domestic servitude," according to UT. The crime is difficult to measure as most data centers around identified victims, excluding the unidentified.
The study launched in 2014 hoping to quantify the prevalence and understand the economic impact in Texas.
Approximately $6.5 billion is used on lifetime costs to provide care to survivors and victims of minor and youth sex trafficking, and about $600 million is exploited from victims of labor trafficking every year in Texas.
IDVSA director Noël Busch-Armendariz, who led the study, said it is Texas's first glimpse into the impact of human trafficking in our state.
“And more importantly, each count reflects a human being living among us in slavery-like conditions. Our findings certainly give us all a call to action.”