Austin cracks down on sex slavery

AUSTIN (KXAN) – Anyone can be a victim of modern day slavery: men, women and teenagers, but especially young girls.

When big events like auto racing come to Austin, advocates say the demand for sex goes up, and that’s why human trafficking is on the rise.

Saturday, dozens of supporters showed up at the George Washington Carver Theater to take a stand and help those being held against their will.

Zonta Club of Austin along with other organizations help those who have been sold for sex, take back their lives.

Back in July local law enforcement arrested two men in Cedar Park for trafficking persons out of a massage parlor.

And in late August, Austin Police Department arrested two men and a woman for human trafficking after being accused of abducting at least four women and forcing them into prostitution.

Big events like F-1, which is expected to bring in 120,000 people to the city is a time when trafficking is in high demand.

That’s why local law enforcement and organizations created “Formula One Task Force” to crack down on any human trafficking during that week of the race.

Zonta Club of Austin, Shelly Baumgartner said, “Their kept captive, their held against their will, their threatened, their families are threatened, so they really feel that they have no option other then to do what their perpetrator is demanding.”

Annette Emery,  Allies of Central Texas said, “Make sure they are getting safe-care and shelter and making sure their no longer victims, getting the opportunity for freedom.”

Organizers said they plan to be at the race in November to bring awareness to visitors.