Bell County, TX (FOX 44) — January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month and Aware Central Texas is doing its part to spread the word.
Its more than information, its actually blue sand being spread across multiple agency properties.
The blue sand spread between cracks shows survivors they won’t fall through the cracks of the system and that they have community support.
“There’s pretty much no stone left unturned that we make sure that we support the victims all the way through,” said Aware Central Texas CSEY advocate Veronikha Pereyra.
“When you talk about advocacy work, we can’t do that alone,” said Victoria Menzies, Aware Central Texas CSEY advocate. “The only way that works is when we partner with the community, and that’s been the whole goal of this project.”
Aware Central Texas partnered with multiple agencies for the Blanket Bell Blue campaign.
It’s a part of a statewide effort by the Attorney General’s Office to raise awareness on human trafficking.
So far they’ve spread sand at Canyon Creek Behavioral Health, the 911 Bell County Communications Center, and the police departments of Temple and Killeen.
“It’s not just us that is able to do the advocacy by ourselves. We have to partner with other organizations to make sure that our victims feel safe, supported, heard,” said Pereyra.
Aware Central Texas provides wrap around services for human trafficking, domestic violence, and sexual assault survivors.
Menzies says events like these bring more attention to human trafficking as people start to recognize the signs.
Killeen police department crime victim liaison Kimberly Isett says it’s important to pay attention to the details.
“Signs such as someone that’s living with multiple people in a cramped little apartment. Maybe there’s no furniture in their lack of personal belongings. Maybe your friend has literally nothing,” said Isett.
Other signs of human trafficking are physical abuse, rehearsed answers, and never being alone.
Aware Central Texas has sand available to agencies or individuals who want to participate.
For questions you can contact their 24/7 hotline number at 254-813-0968
Aware Central Texas will be spreading sand tomorrow at the Harker Heights police department and with Belton PD.