Human Trafficking Awareness Day: Houston Athlete Announces Freedom Run Of Texas
Houston athlete and business owner plans sex slavery awareness campaign to educate Texans; commits to running through major cities during ‘Texas Freedom Run.’
– January 6, 2014 – Saturday, January 11, marks National Human Trafficking Awareness Day. With approximately 300,000 children in the US at risk of being prostituted (U.S. Department of Justice), pimps often kidnap and enslave children averaging as young as 12 for sexual exploitation. Because Houston draws a huge variety of visitors both for business and through its many sports and entertainment events, the city has become a hub for sex slavery.
“When I learned that here in Houston an average of 6,000 kids run away each year,” said Jason Arcemont, “and that a third of those kids are lured into prostitution within just 48 hours of running away, I was horrified. And those aren’t the worst statistics! This travesty is reaching epidemic proportions right here in our hometown. As a parent and native Houstonian, I just had to do something, and that’s how I came up with the idea for Texas Freedom Run.”
An avid athlete and business marketing specialist, Arcemont’s Texas Freedom Run movement launches on National Human Trafficking Awareness Day with the unveiling of an informational website – www.TexasFreedomRun.com – and an eight month campaign aimed to educate the public on ways to identify potential victims and stop human trafficking. This October (which also happens to be National Domestic Violence Awareness Month), Arcemont will embark on an epic run across Texas. Started in El Paso and Finishing over 850mile away in Orange, TX. Stopping in cities along the way, in hopes of generating press coverage and word of mouth around the issue of sex trafficking and child exploitation.
“It only takes a tiny spark to start a wildfire,” says Jason. “What if, instead of a pimp approaching a runaway at a bus stop and enslaving them, a watchful Good Samaritan approached them instead? What if good people knew the signs of abuse and intervened, instead of evil predators taking advantage of our kids? What if we could crush this sick industry simply by breaking the silence that insulates it?”
Because the human trafficking industry is built upon secrecy and fear, Arcemont believes that if enough people were made aware of how to distinguish suspicious situations, identify victims and high-risk children, and ways to intervene or report tips, the whole criminal enterprise would crumble.
“Martin Luther King Jr. said, ‘In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends,’” Arcemont explained. “I want to be a friend and an advocate for the victims of human trafficking and children at risk. I want to end the silence. Together, I know we can do just that! Even if we only save one little girl – just one little girl from the hands of these monsters – then we’ll have done a truly great thing.”
ABOUT TEXAS FREEDOM RUN:
Texas Freedom Run is a charitable project in partnership with Love146, an international human rights organization working to end child trafficking and exploitation by caring for survivors, providing prevention education to children, training professionals working with exploited youth and empowering an international movement of abolition. More Info: www.TexasFreedomRun.com