By Robbie Owens

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DALLAS (CBSDFW) – “Texas ranks second in the country for human trafficking…99 million dollars is spent on the sex trade every year in North Texas… 13 is the average age that teens are trafficked…400 girls are bought and sold on the streets of Dallas every night.”

They’re all statistics supplied by New Friends New Life. The non-profit works to end human trafficking and the jaw dropping, stomach turning statistics help to create awareness. And when it works, awareness leads to action. It did with Bill Morse.

“Two years ago I didn’t know, I didn’t’ understand, I didn’t make the connections,” says Morse. “When I began to know… I couldn’t ‘un-know’. And when you know, the next step has to be doing!”

Morse is a former businessman. He’s also a Dad beaming with pride over his successful, college-aged daughter. And he says he is now driven to fight the sex trade by appealing to the consumer.
“We recognize that men drive the demand… and without that demand that wouldn’t be the supply: Women and children taken into this atrocious crime.”

Morse is part of a NFNL men’s group working to create a different mindset about sexual exploitation. And he’s also one who calls pornography a ‘gateway’ to human trafficking. Experts say it is a door that opens young.

“The vast majority of our cases begins with child abuse,” says New Friends New Life CEO Katie Pedigo, “we’re talking 3, 4, 5 year old little girls…and if we don’t intervene at that point, they will go on to become our little girls that are being bought and sold.”

A luncheon today featuring activist Amal Clooney helped the organization raise a million dollars to help fund the fight against human trafficking. But, ultimately, Morse says he needs more good men to help him win it.

“It’s not a women’s issue, it’s a humanitarian issue. If you’re a man that loves women, if you’re a man that loves children, we hope that you will first know more, understand more, and when you know more, you’ll do more.”

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