Bexar Teens in Trouble Can Now Get to a 'Safe Place'

We always urge victims to 'get away' if they are being victimized, but when you're a child of 13 who is being sex trafficked, being sexually abused, or in a dangerous place, what do you do?

Bexar County Commissioners have now created 'safe places,' with one being the Roy Maas Youth Alternatives.

"They can text us through their phone, which is something they know how to do, and then we get the message," Dr. Julie Strentzsch, Chief Program Officer for Roy Maas, said as the 'Safe Place' sign was unveiled on the main facility at West and Basse on the north side.

Stickers will begin showing up at partners of the program, from schools to convenience stores to YMCA facilities, urging kids in trouble to text the word SAFE and she says the Safe Place team will take it from there.

"Whatever situation they feel uncomfortable in, they can give us a call, and we are going to help them through it," she said.

She says while that can range from being in a car with a drunk driver at the wheel to being stuck with another teens who are considered committing a crime, it will be a major help for victims of sex trafficking.

The main focus of the TXT 4 HELP program is teens between the ages of 10 and 17.

Strentzsch says the Safe Place team will find the teenager and get them the help they need to get out of the dangerous situation.

While other counties have had 'Safe Place' programs for years, this is the first established in Bexar County.

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