AUSTIN — Officials with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) announced that they have partnered with the First Lady of Texas Cecilia Abbott with the aim to raise awareness about human trafficking and teach Texans how to combat crime.

According to a TxDOT press release, in order to raise awareness multiple state agencies are working together to educate individuals by providing educational opportunities on how to spot the signs and how to report trafficking activity through iWatchTexas.

“It is crucial that the State of Texas collaborates to raise awareness, increase our vigilance, and report signs of this horrendous crime,” said First Lady Abbott. “These victims are not invisible when we learn to look for the signs of suspected abuse, exploitation, and trafficking. Working together, we can all help to end this injustice.”

TxDOT said they train their employees to identify instances of human trafficking, officials added that in October 2022 members of the staff assisted two people who identified themselves as victims of human trafficking.

“TxDOT plays a critical role in this fight as traffickers utilize our infrastructure to commit this crime,” TxDOT Executive Director Marc Williams said. “We’re training our employees to spot it in rural, suburban, and urban communities across the state. It’s important that we all work together to look for the signs because it can happen to anyone, anywhere, at any time.”

Officials stated that Texas consistently has the second-highest number of calls to the National Human Trafficking Hotline (888-373-7888) every year.

TxDOT said it has 12,000 employees spread out across the state working together, aiming to make a difference.

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