The Coastal Bend Wellness Foundation’s Red Cord Initiative is a program designed to educate the community on human trafficking and the warning signs associated with it. Started in 2013, it also provides transitional housing, intensive case management and community-based services to victims of human trafficking in Nueces County.
Eliana Rosete is a social worker who was recently distributing flyers for the cause on Heritage Campus.
“Our goal is just to try and help individuals that have suffered commercial or sexual exploitation,” Rosete said.
The Red Cord Initiative seeks to provide for the needs of human trafficking survivors.
“A lot of these individuals need assistance with housing,” Rosete said. “They might need assistance getting a job or going back to school if that’s what they are wanting. … They might need assistance getting food.”
Human trafficking is legally defined as the exploitation of a person for the purpose of a compelled sex or labor act by force, fraud and coercion.
According to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, in 2021, the hotline identified 917 cases of human trafficking in Texas involving 1,702 victims, the second highest in the United States, behind only California.
In 2020, the state of Texas made 185 arrests and 28 convictions for human trafficking charges.
According to the Red Cord Initiative, common signs that someone is a victim of trafficking include lack of control over identifying documents, living and working in isolated conditions, social isolation from others, not being allowed to speak alone and being threatened with deportation or harm.
If someone you know is being trafficked, immediately contact emergency services by calling 911.
To contact the Coastal Bend Wellness Foundation about the Red Cord Initiative, please call 361-462-5545. For more information about other services provided by the CBWF, visit cbwellness.org.