Traffick911 is a team of passionate people driven to free youth from sex trafficking.
At Traffick911, they believe that prevention happens through educating adults and youth about the plight of sex trafficking in America and equipping them with practical ways to keep themselves safe. Traffick911 works to free youth from sex trafficking through prevention, identification and empowerment. Since 2009, Traffick911 has educated over 67,800 individuals face-to-face, identified 720 victims across Texas, and worked with law enforcement in 16 Texas counties. They will continue to expand across Texas and partner with other affiliate organizations in other states, working to reach as many youth as possible with a prevention message, identify victims through outreaches and trainings and empowering survivors on their journey to freedom.
We asked Cheryl Brasuell, the Director of Community Engagement, in a short written interview to find out more about the work and mission of Traffick911.
Q: Could you tell us what sparked the birth of Traffick911?
A: Traffick911 began in 2009 by a local abolitionist who learned about this crime and decided that she couldn't stay silent. After months of research and connecting to networks across the nation, she pioneered training youth and first responders across Texas and built an enormous base of highly-trained volunteers, who have been instrumental in Traffick911’s long-term success.
In 2011, an opportunity to present at a juvenile detention center gave insight on what became a highly effective venue for reaching high-risk youth. Since then, Traffick911's work in partnering with juvenile detention centers has gained national exposure and hundreds of victims have been identified sitting in these jail cells. Outreach to high-risk youth has become a niche and passion of Traffick911.
Traffick911 was named Outstanding Organization of the Year by the Fort Worth Commission for Women with commendations by the Fort Worth City Council, mayor and a State Senator. They have also been recognized by Homeland Security Investigations as a most-valued partner in this battle to save our American children from sex trafficking.
Q: What are the ways in which Traffick911 is fighting sexual exploitation and human trafficking of our youth?
A: Traffick911 exists to free youth from sex trafficking with a three-prong strategy of PREVENTION, IDENTIFICATION, and EMPOWERMENT. We have identified and/or assisted 700 (and counting) victims and our work—in close partnership with law enforcement—has led to multiple state and federal felony arrests and convictions. We also have a youth prevention program called Traps, which teaches youth how to #BeSmartStayFree from traffickers by understanding their tricks, traps and lures.
Q: From your experience, what would you say is the toughest challenge in the process of helping and caring for trafficking survivors?
A: We believe that relationship is the intervention that helps these vulnerable and exploited kids begin to see themselves as survivors. Our advocates walk side by side with each survivor to help them see that their story doesn’t define their future. They are more than their story and more valuable than they can imagine!
Q: Could you share with us some of the stories of victory in the life and work of Traffick911?
A: I will point you to our website to the page where we post letters from the girls we’ve reached through Juvenile Detention Outreach. These are amazing!
To read the letters from the girls, you can go to this page — LETTERS
Q: What advice would you give for someone who wanted to really make a difference? How can the every day person help you in what you are doing?
A: My advice would be to research, watch documentaries and read about the issue and then talk about it to everyone you know. Awareness is powerful and we want people to understand that kids are being exploited every day in plain sight—in our communities. Every person can do something. Not everyone can join the day-to-day fight but every person can give of their resources to make a difference in a child’s life.
As I stated before, RELATIONSHIP IS THE INTERVENTION. It takes people to make a difference in the lives of these kids.
You can also support Traffick911 by purchasing our shirts and products, and spread the word about this wonderful organization and human trafficking injustice. 10% of our sales until NOVEMBER 19 will be donated to Traffick911. CLICK HERE TO SHOP