In October 2020, I learned a lot about human trafficking and what is going on here in Texas. Even more shocking is what is going on closer to home in West Texas. I was then afforded the honor of being able to help a new non-profit organization Beyond Trafficking. This local group helps rescue and assist survivors of human and sex trafficking in Texas.

Since then I have learned so much about this matter from Stephanie Rocha, founder and executive director of Beyond Trafficking. To stop trafficking, one must know what "human trafficking" is exactly.

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Stephanie Rocha defines human trafficking as "the exploitation of people for financial gain. It affects millions of people worldwide, making it one of the most profitable crimes in the world." The most horrifying reality is that this crime is under-addressed and sometimes ignored completely.

As West Texans and Beyond Trafficking continue working together to help those affected, Beyond Trafficking's 4th Annual Gala is still on. However, the date has been rescheduled to Saturday, March 2nd, 2024. This is an event to better educate our communities, raise awareness, and raise the necessary funds to build the Amada House.

For more information or to seek help from Stephanie and her awesome Beyond Trafficking staff, simply call toll-free: 888-373-7888 or visit online at

Human trafficking takes place every day in Abilene and around Texas and survivors need a safe place to go to. Abilene can now provide that. - Stephanie Rocha

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