Human trafficking is the exploitation of people through manipulation, force, fraud, or coercion in exchange for anything of value. Unfortunately, commercial sexual exploitation (CSEY) is a rampant issue for children who enter the child welfare system in Texas. 

During Human Trafficking Awareness Day- on January 11, 2022- our lived- experience Commercially Sexually Exploited Youth Project Coordinator, Sarah Hall streamed in with the team at the El Paso Center for Children to discuss programs available for CSEY prevention and long term recovery. 

“One of the most integral parts of supporting a young person recovering from exploitation is building a connection. Sometimes we lose track of how long healing can take. Healing doesn’t necessarily have a timeframe of where it starts and where it finishes. Helping them find their autonomy and meeting them where they are at are some of the most crucial aspects of our program.” 

Lupe Drazkowski, Clinician and Clinical Coordinator 

This 25 minute conversation revealed that consistency and connection are vital elements of providing foundation and support to a youth who enters their program after experiencing exploitation. The El Paso Center for Children provides healing not only through safe housing with quality foster parents, but through creating space for emotional recovery and day to day staff mentorship. 

Signs of trafficking and exploitation can be mistaken with seemingly ordinary circumstances. You can  learn more and help share knowledge regarding the signs of Human Trafficking by downloading our Human Trafficking Awareness Factsheet 2022.