WACO, Texas - A state organization called Children at Risk is trying to combat sex trafficking by warning parents about suspected illegal massage businesses, saying many of them are too close to public schools.
"If you can imagine how many families it's impacting, how many marriages it's impacting, it's very detrimental to the community," says UnBound National Director Susan Peters.
Sex trafficking is on the rise.
UnBound is a local organization who helps sex trafficking victims, They say they helped 51 people in 2017 - up from 19 the year before.
So far in the first three months of 2018, they have helped more than 30. Many of them were rescued from massage parlors.
"That's a lot of traffic going in and out of those massage parlors," said Peters.
"What we don't want in the state of Texas is for our kids, on their way to school, to have to walk by these type of establishments," says Children at Risk President Dr. Robert Sanborn.
This is where this map comes into play, which shows where possible illegal massage parlors are located. Most are less than three miles away from a public school.
The Houston-based non-profit locates these type of businesses from police and websites like rubmaps.com.
"It's sort of like a Yelp for sexually-oriented businesses," said Dr. Sanborn.
The organization says many businesses will change their name or claim to be closed online so they won't get tracked.
UnBound says once they get reports of an illegal massage parlor and it's turned in to police, it takes time before they are able to get a warrant and shut it down.
This is where Children at Risk says it's a problem. They want lawmakers to enforce massage parlors without a proper license to shutdown.
Mclennan county commissioners are working this week to narrow down…
Brush fires are popping up all across Central Texas. Firefighter says…
Former Hewitt Councilman Kurt Krakowian says a brief…