December 4, 2019
Recently, Courtney and Kelly Litvak of Katy joined U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) and Ivanka Trump, advisor to the President, to discuss the prevalence of human trafficking in local communities and how to improve the way the country combats the crime and takes care of survivors.
At 17-years-old, Courtney Litvak was swept into human sex trafficking after being coerced into the wrong crowd. From there, it was a slow and deceptive grooming process which resulted in Courtney being trafficked through the United States over the next several years.
“Sadly, Courtney’s story is not the only one in our community – at any given time, nearly 80,000 minors are being trafficked in Texas,” McCaul said. “I am thankful that Courtney’s story ended in hope, for many this is not the case.”
According to a 2017 Department of Justice Report, many minors who are trafficked experience life-long physical and psychological trauma, disease (including HIV/AIDS), drug addiction, unwanted pregnancy, malnutrition, social ostracism, and in some cases, death.
Courtney has not let her dark experience control the bright future she has ahead of herself. Courtney and her mother, Kelly Litvak, founded Childproof America with the goal to raise awareness, educate communities about the signs of human trafficking, and help survivors of trafficking.
“Though I endured this unimaginable reality, I am now able to help others because of my experiences. There is no greater way to purpose my pain than to use what the enemy intended for harm to change lives,” said Courtney, referring to Genesis 50:20 in the Bible. “Through my role as Childproof America ambassador, I am able to provide a voice for survivors and all those who are impacted by educating, equipping and empowering the masses.”
Courtney and Kelly Litvak found that there was a gap in how the country addressed human trafficking. It is through their Family Guides Program and awareness campaigns that they intend to fill it.
With McCaul, Courtney and Kelly sat down with Ivanka Trump to bring the conversation to the White House.
“It was incredibly humbling to meet with Courtney and Kelly Litvak today. The scourge of human trafficking does not start as the waters’ edge; it’s affecting people in our own neighborhoods and throughout the United States. This administration is deeply committed to ensuring that Courtney’s experience will never be repeated,” Trump said.
“It is my firm belief that it takes a community to defeat this modern form of slavery we call human trafficking. As father of five children, I feel a duty to everything in my line of work to rid our communities of this atrocity,” McCaul said.
While in Congress, McCaul has introduced several pieces of legislation aimed at defeating human trafficking. Most recently, he introduced the Interdiction for the Protection of Child (IPC) Victims of Exploitation and Human Trafficking Act, H.R. 836. This bill would require the Attorney General to establish a pilot program to train federal, state and local law enforcement officers on how to better identify human trafficking.
Additionally, McCaul has held several events in the 10th District of Texas which brought together health professionals, local volunteers and law enforcement in order to create meaningful partnerships with the intention to create awareness and end human trafficking.
“Courtney’s story is an inspiration and only further places light on this issue happening right in our backyards. It is conversations, like the one Courtney, Kelly and I had with Ivanka today, that strengthen and expand our effort in ending human trafficking once and for all,” said McCaul.