Mr. Speaker, human trafficking is a plague on our city, town and nation. It is a menace to our society and must not be tolerated. Fortunately, we have outstanding organizations brave enough to bring awareness to this horrific crime.
Childproof America is a non-profit located in Houston, Texas and founded by Kelly Litvak. Although Kelly has always had a heart for helping at-risk youth, her calling to found Childproof America was inspired by her family’s own experience with human trafficking and the resulting impact it had on their lives.
The Litvak’s were what you would consider the stereotypical ‘‘all-American’’ family. They lived in an upscale suburban community in Houston, Texas, with top ranked schools.
In 2007, Kelly released a faith-based book titled, ‘‘Tools 4 Teens’’, which focused on teen issues to help them navigate through some of the most challenging times in life. The book was translated into a classroom curriculum in 2008, and the nonprofit Tools 4 Life was formed. Countless juvenile’s lives were transformed through a partnership formed with Harris County Juvenile Probation.
The stories of misguided youth were often a story at the dinner table for the Litvaks. But Mr. Speaker, no family is immune to human trafficking. Kelly’s daughter, Courtney, was a popular student in Katy ISD.
In 2016, Courtney was approached by a fellow peer who was a well- known basketball player. But, Mr. Speaker, it wasn’t an innocent high school friendship.
The student lured Courtney into a local sex trafficking ring. When the Litvaks realized what had happened to their daughter, they quickly took action, ushering her out of the state for a few months, trying to protect their daughter from her traffickers.
When she returned home to Texas, Courtney turned 18, and ran away from home. To this day, the Litvaks are unaware of where their daughter is. Unfortunately, stories like this are all too common.
Childproof America promotes public awareness and educates the public on the realities of human trafficking. Offering a free online learning curriculum, Childproof America strives to educate and equip parents with the knowledge about the strategies traffickers use to exploit children.
The Family Guides Program offers free services to the community, ranging from pinpointing online activity and locations, to intervention, extraction by law enforcement and survivor care.
Regular community meetings are held to provide presentations about human trafficking to those willing to be advocates and start a conversation. Childproof America’s passion, dedication, and support in educating folks about human trafficking makes our community a safer place.
Human trafficking is the fastest growing criminal industry in the world today. It is occurring in every city and state in the nation. Public awareness is extremely important.
We must continue to work together to end human trafficking and provide aid to those that have been victimized by this scourge on humanity.
And that’s just the way it is.