Seal of the Senate of the State of Texas Welcome to the Official Website for the Texas Senate
Seal of the Senate of the State of Texas
Welcome to the official website for the
Texas Senate
Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa: District 20
Masthead Graphic
Press Release
March 11, 2022
Contact: (512) 463-0120
Senator Hinojosa's Statement on the Trafficking of Children at The Refuge

Austin, TX — On March 10, 2022, the Texas Tribune reported that employees of The Refuge, a state-contracted facility located in Bastrop, TX, charged with caring for female foster children who are victims of sex trafficking, were found to be abusing and trafficking the same children in their care. Reports allege that multiple children suffered from sexual and physical abuse, neglectful supervision, and medical neglect.

According to the article, an employee of the Refuge originally reported the abuse to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services on January 24, 2022, but the children were not removed until five weeks later.

Senator Hinojosa issued the following statement:

"This is infuriating and unacceptable. Our children are our most precious gift and should never undergo this type of abuse. I'm pleased the Texas Rangers will be investigating and pursuing charges against any suspect involved in this matter. However, this should not stop there. For a facility to subject already-victimized children to further abuse and trafficking is absolutely repulsive, especially after the Legislature has dedicated nearly $120 million over the past two session for prevention, investigation, and prosecution of these very activities. We must have a legislative hearing at the appropriate time to discuss this issue, hold those responsible to account, and work to prevent this from happening again."