Abilene nonprofit opens headquarters to combat human trafficking


ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Beyond Trafficking established themselves in Abilene four years ago with a mission to rescue survivors of human trafficking and spread awareness of dangers and signs that come with it.

Friday they reached a milestone in that mission with the opening of their headquarters at 3300 South 14th street on the 2nd floor of the First Financial building.

“Being able to have an office makes a world of a difference,” said executive director Stephanie Andrade-Rocha.

For many years the nonprofit has had to conduct business in homes and public meeting spaces. This new office will give them a central location to operate. They are also now able to provide therapy and other in-house services to survivors.

“A place for them to know that they are loved. That they have a safe place to be able to come and speak,” Andrade-Rocha assured.

According to Andrade-Rocha, the process of opening the location was prolonged by the COVID-19 pandemic. Even so, she says trafficking numbers have risen in that time and they couldn’t wait to act.

“It happens every day here in Abilene and survivors need a safe place to go,” Andrade-Rocha stated.

Board co-chair Pete Leija says he and his wife got involved with the organization a year ago.

“And it’s not just little girls. It’s all ages all sexes all races, and because of that I wanted to become a part of, and an advocate for the education and awareness to people so that we’re not caught in that situation where we think it’s never going to happen to me,” Leija added.

Their next step is to fund and open a local Safe House: A transitional home for survivors to use as they rebuild their lives.

Andrade-Rocha included, “It’s been very difficult but our community is great and we rally together, and that’s why we’re standing here today.”

Interested volunteers can get in contact through their website or by calling (325) 338-2166. If you suspect someone may be experiencing or in danger of Human Trafficking call the national hotline at 1 (888) 373-7888

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