HOUSTON — The Harris County District Attorney's Office held a press conference Monday morning to discuss the $4 million in grants it has received to help violent crime victims and to combat sex traffickers.
“City, county, state government recognizes the importance and priority that our communities place on these types of public safety problems, and we’re trying to hit those problems first,” says District Attorney Kim Ogg.
The money will allow the Harris County District Attorney’s Office to double their Victims-Witness Division.
“The intangible costs that victims have to suffer are life long and it’s the least we can do to make sure that they are involved in the system,” says Andy Kahan, City of Houston Crime Victims Director.
The grants that were issued by the Texas Governor's Office will also go towards more enforcement and going after not just the sellers but the buyers, pimps and traffickers, too!
“If you haven’t been caught yet, you will be caught it’s just a matter of time, so you better stop, because we’re coming after you,” exclaimed Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez.
New funds will also be used to funnel a large number of the women arrested for prostitution into the care of social workers to help the women that want out of that lifestyle.
“The governor’s office is working statewide with stakeholders starting here in Houston to really look at the way we treat victims of sex trafficking," said Governor Greg Abbott.
Teens will also be handled differently under the new grant rules.
“We’re not going to be arresting our teenagers who are trafficking victims and calling them prostitutes , they’re victims,” said Andrea Sparks, the Director of the Child Sex Trafficking Office of the Texas Governor.
Watch the livestream on the CW39.com or the CW39 Houston Facebook.