Human Trafficking Growing With the Boom 6/21/12
CBS 7 News
June 21, 2012
ODESSA, TX - Everywhere you turn the Permian Basin is bustling, but each night as the sun sets there's a dark industry growing throughout our neighborhoods.
"There's more than you would think," said Chuck Hornung, the Executive Director for the Crisis Center.
Hornung says they know human trafficking is growing in the basin, because they've seen it.
"We had a client that walked in the door one day and said, I don't know how to say this, but I need help."
Visiting missionary Brent Messimer has traveled the globe helping women trapped in human trafficking get out and start over.
After a tour of a local victim shelter he says he wasn't surprised when he found out a shelter in the basin is counseling and rehabilitating two mail order brides.
"Right now they're helping two Filipino girls that were brought here under the guise of marriage."
Both men say it's hard to get a real count of the problem, because rarely do victims come forward.
"There's a lot of shame involved in it. My dad and brother sold me, even though the family needed that money to survive, I wasn't valued enough to stay with my family," said Hornung.
"At a very young age you have a victim taken, extremely abused and experienced the worst kind of brain washing you can imagine, and that's the only thing she knows,” said Messimer.
Messimer says it's American money abroad that keeps human trafficking alive, and Hornung explains that the boom in the basin has lured the industry to West Texas.
"I got to visit with a lady that was trafficked locally by her husband who made her dance in a strip club and do things with his friends that are considered trafficking,” Messimer explained of a recent testimonial from a woman in Odessa.
The United States is considered the third largest destination for human trafficking in the world and Texas is considered a gateway state because of its borders with Mexico, the gulf and large interstate highways.
Brent Messimer has an organization called Rescue Innocence.
Its mission is to help women caught in human trafficking escape and rebuild their lives.
Grace Christian Fellowship in Odessa is his supporting church.
To help his cause or learn more about Brent you can click here.