On Thursday, March 7, Brush Country Republican Women met at the Pleasanton Civic Center. The meeting consisted of a presentation on human trafficking by Distict Attorney Audrey Louis and Atascosa County Sheriff David Soward.
The program was extremely interesting and very informative. DA Louis started by giving an overview of the services of the Child Advocacy Centers (CAC). She was the driving force behind establishing one for the 81st Judicial District. The CAC is the office to which abused children are referred for a forensic interview and for counseling. They provide expert professional services to abused children and their families free of charge.
Next she talked about the difference between abuse, human smuggling and human trafficking. Of the approximately 36,000 child abuse cases referred to a CAC in Texas in 2017 only 327 were human trafficking cases. She emphasized human trafficking occurs much less frequently than what the media leads us to believe. Child abuse is a much larger problem and it is everywhere.
Caroline George, President of the Brush Country Republican Women said, “Those statistics certainly changed my perspective. DA Louis said that most child abuse occurs in the home by someone the child knows.”
Sheriff Soward said he has one investigator devoted solely to child abuse cases.
DA Louis said human trafficking cases do not typically result from kidnapped individuals but from individuals who are in situations that could make them vulnerable to exploitation such as runaways or neglected children.
Both the DA and the Sheriff talked about the lucrative nature of human trafficking.
Caroline George is a retired Navy Captain having served 27 years on active duty. She became interested in politics after joining the Texas Federation of Republican Women (TFRW) local Atascosa County federated club, Brush Country Republican Women (BCRW).
She has served as President of BCRW as well as many other positions. Caroline served as Precinct 17 Chairman from April 2006 until December 2009 and again from June 2014 to the present.