Hands of Justice—a nonprofit organization based in Conroe—aims to educate others about what human trafficking looks like and how it impacts people in Montgomery County.

What to know

Founder Rebecca Cary, who self-identifies as a human trafficking survivor, began her mission in 2017 after seeing there were no resources for other survivors in the suburban area of Houston.

"I am a survivor of domestic sex trafficking," Cary said. "I was trafficked in my 20s. And honestly, when I self identified, which wasn't until about seven years ago ... I started looking for help and there was nothing—there was absolutely nothing."

When looking to select a location, Cary realized there were many resources available in the city of Houston, but not in the greater Houston area. She chose Conroe for the location as it was also close to Huntsville, which is 31.8 miles to the north. Cary said there are no services available for trafficking survivors in Huntsville despite the presence of the Texas Department of Justice prison and Sam Houston State University, where students are vulnerable.

“There's no anti-trafficking nonprofits in the city of Huntsville, which I find appalling, because most of the prisons as well as Sam Houston are there,” Carey said. “And there's cases of trafficking in that area.”

Cary holds the co-chair and survivor position on the board of the Montgomery County Coalition Against Human Trafficking and served on the Survivor Leader Council for the state of Texas for two years. In May of 2022, she published her first book, "When Silence Ends."

The approach

Hands of Justice partners with organizations such as The Haven, based in the Houston area. The Haven is a nonprofit which works with female teenagers who are victims of sex trafficking and sexual exploitation.

The two organizations work together to provide services including support groups and trauma therapy. It is one of the few nonprofits that offers services to male survivors. Hands of Justice provides resources such as scholarships, an education center, advocacy and case management as well as a boutique for survivors to get clothing, shoes or accessories.

According to the Hands of Justice website, it has sponsored more than 150 survivors in support groups and educated more than 1,600 people through its education center and resources.

This year, the organization began its empowerment groups, where men, women and teenagers are trained to educate the community on human trafficking.

“We also are one of the few organizations around that has services for men," said Carrie Harney, assistant survivor advocate. "Most organizations solely focus on women; however, men are trafficked as well. So we have all of our services, support groups, the counseling services that we partner with. [We] offer basically any of our services to men as well.”

The organization offers education through the community by hosting presentations and events with other organizations. It also holds fundraising events such as a fashion show recently held at the Woodlands Country Club in on April 19.

“We just wanted ... because this is such a dark subject, every single larger fundraising event we have seems to be serious and dark,” said Carey. “We wanted to be able to invite the community and have something fun and helpful where they walk away going, ‘Hey, I really am drawn to helping without being so darn depressed about this.’"

How to help

Hands of Justice is donor-based and takes volunteers to help at events.