FRISCO — It's a crime that can be uncomfortable to talk about, but it's happening at our bus stops, in our malls and in our schools.
Now a group of young artists is using the power of song to keep kids from being tricked into trafficking.
"There are no walls with music," said Bridgette Hammers.
She's the founder of FindUrVoice, a group of young artists using their voices to help the voiceless be heard. They're raising awareness about the reality of Human Trafficking and kicking off a concert tour to spread their message.
Their first performance is Sunday, Feb. 8 at Preston Trail Community Church at 6 p.m. in Frisco.
Sometimes all it takes is a little music to really open our ears and tune into reality.
Thirteen-year-old Sydney Cope of Corinth will take the stage, hoping to first entertain and then educate.
"It's very scary," said Cope. "Most of my friends don't know what human trafficking is."
Human trafficking is the world's fastest-growing crime, according to the U.S. State Department. North Texas has long been a hotbed for traffickers targeting girls just like Cope.
Where are traffickers?
"They're on social media," Hammers said. "They are where the teenagers are."
The statistics are alarming. Texas is the second worst state in our country for human trafficking, just behind California. There's a new victim every 30 seconds, and only one percent are ever saved.
"This is very scary for me because the average age is 11- to 14-year-olds," said Cope.
If you think a girl like her doesn't fit the profile of a victim, think again.
"I say it's time to wake up," said Hammers.
Traffick911 spokeswoman Lindsey Speed couldn't agree more. The local nonprofit she works for is trying to free American children from sexual slavery.
"We've been able to identify over 130 victims just mainly in North Texas, but across Texas as well," Speed said.
Speed said the Interstate 10 and Interstate 35 corridors, as well as the state's close proximity to Mexico, add to the problem.
"The Mexican cartel is sending recruiters into schools, and it could just be that they made friends with the wrong friend," she said.
Now she and her friends are taking a tough topic and talking about it in a setting surrounded by music that everyone enjoys.
"The truth is it only takes one voice to change the world," said Hammers.
For more information on FindUrVoice and the concert tour, click here.