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Human Trafficking in the News
A woman sitting on a flight helped save kids from sex abuse 
after she saw a man's texts
A passenger aboard a recent flight helped police save two young children after she spotted the man in front of her texting about sexually abusing them, authorities said Thursday.  The woman, a Seattle-area preschool teacher, was on a Southwest Airlines flight from Seattle to San Jose on Monday when she noticed the passenger sitting right in front of her texting disturbing messages about sexually molesting young children, police said. 

'Men4Men End the Demand' takes on sex trafficking
For James Nelson, a former pimp who left "the life" 32 years ago, talking to other men about the realities of sex trafficking is not intimidating or embarrassing. "There's no special way to do it. Sometimes we complicate things, when the simplistic approach is the best approach. So you just talk about it," he said. Nelson is engaging men in these conversations as a volunteer working on an anti-trafficking campaign that launched recently at Gee's Clippers barbershop, 2200 N. Martin Luther King Drive. The Foundations for Freedom's summer campaign, "Men4Men End the Demand" aims to raise awareness that buying sex and consuming pornography drive human trafficking, causing the enslavement of women and men.
More than 1,000 arrests in sex trafficking operation
A pastor, a state trooper and a convicted sex offender were among 1,000 people arrested in a month-long period trying to sell or buy sex across the country. The arrests were part of the National Johns Suppression Initiative, a series of stings aimed at reducing sex trafficking in the United States. 
Molly Griffiths and Holly Hudelson join the TAT team

Molly Griffiths
Replacing Laura Cyrus, now TAT operations director, as TAT administrative specialist, Molly Griffiths first became passionate about the issue of human trafficking during college where she obtained a degree in psychology. Following graduation, while working at a high school in Los Angeles, Griffiths began to see the many challenges vulnerable youth face and wanted to help prevent some of these issues. To do so, she pursued a master's degree in criminology at Regis University and will be completing that in December of this year. 
"I am so excited to join the TAT team in the fight against human trafficking," she said. "In my short time here, I have already seen just how influential the trucking industry can be and how many people dedicate their time to try to stop this crime. I look forward to continuing to work with drivers and companies and to build this partnership even further." 

Holly Hudelson
Coming onboard to respond to the influx of calls, emails and needs of truckers and companies in states, like Arkansas, which have made TAT training mandatory for CDL qualification or renewal, Holly Hudelson is TAT's new certification compliance coordinator. She joined the anti-trafficking movement in 2011 upon learning that the average age a child is first trafficked for sex is 14-15 years old in the United States. She knew she had to do something, so she started volunteering, soon realizing that there was a missing piece to her mission. In 2012, Hudelson and a couple of friends decided to start the non-profit organization Unlock Freedom, focusing specifically on education and awareness in the community and schools. A supporter of Truckers Against Trafficking, she is excited to join the team. 
"I've only been working with TAT for a couple of weeks, but I'm seeing that the trucking industry is even more massive than I had realized. Truckers truly can make a difference in the fight against trafficking," she stated.

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Oil and gas industry begins participation in TAT coalition builds

A reporter from local media interviews, from left, U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp and TAT Coalition Build Specialist Esther Goestsch.
With a $26,000 grant, ConocoPhillips has begun helping, in part, with TAT coalition builds in locations where they drill to bring the issue of human trafficking to the forefront of the oil and gas industry. While CAP grant money pays for the majority of coalition build costs, the ConocoPhillips grant money covers the costs for the Freedom Drivers Project to and from the events as well as lunch for all participants.
The first build, co-hosted by TAT and the office of U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp, took place in Bismarck, North Dakota on Aug. 14. The next one is planned for Nov. 29 in Kennedy, TX, near the Eagle Ford Shale.
"The coalition build in Bismarck was a high-level discussion around human trafficking with representatives from the oil and gas industry, the truck stop industry, the trucking industry and law enforcement from the local, state and federal levels," Esther Goetsch, TAT coalition build specialist, said. "It was exciting to see each of these sectors come to the discussion with a desire to make a difference in their community, a willingness to learn how they can play a part and a compassion to join in the hope of recovering more victims." 
In surveys following the event, the 42 attendees made comments including kudos for Survivor-Leader Beth Jacobs for "being brave and sharing," for all speakers that they were well-prepared and that the build was beneficial to them. 

Freedom Drivers Project garners lots of attention 
at the Iowa State Fair

From the butter cow, the blue-ribbon quilts, the horse shows, and the hypnotist, there was a lot to see at the Iowa State Fair, and thanks to the Iowa Motor Vehicle Enforcement division of Iowa DOT, the Freedom Drivers Project (FDP) joined the festivities on opening day. 

"We were thrilled to have over 1600 attendees tour the Freedom Drivers Project," enthused Helen Van Dam, FDP director, "including members of the trucking industry excited to take our materials back to their companies and community members excited to take this information back to their neighborhoods, schools, and families. We couldn't have hoped for a better first year at the Iowa State Fair. Thank you to TanTara Transportation Corp and ConocoPhillips for helping the Freedom Drivers Project get to and from the fair. 
Pictured with (front row, from left) Virgil Bodeen, U.S. Department of State contract international visitor liaison, Molly Griffiths, TAT administrative specialist, and Laura Cyrus, TAT operations director, are the international visitors who participated in the training.
TAT again provides training for the State Department's
International Visitor Leadership Program

As it has in the past few years, TAT once again provided a "Combating Trafficking in Persons" training on Aug. 18 about working with the trucking industry to fight human trafficking to seven foreign leaders through the U.S. State Department's International Visitor Leadership Program. The guests for this training were from Bahrain, Chile, Finland, Ghana, Libya, Lithuania and Vietnam. TAT has participated in this program for several years in the hopes that it will help combat human trafficking and that other countries may consider adopting its model in full or part to work with the trucking industry in those lands.
 Board member Molly Wolff talked with hundreds of trucking industry members about human trafficking and how they can be part of the solution.
New exhibits in Freedom Drivers Project intrigue GATS attendees

In its eighth year as an exhibitor at the Great
More than 1500 GATS attendees toured the Freedom Drivers Project
American Trucking Show in Dallas, Aug. 24-2 6, Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) continued to impact a large number of attendees with information about human trafficking in America and with its Freedom Drivers Project (FDP). More than 1,500 drivers, spouses, manufacturers, instructors, students, mechanics and more toured the FDP, were affected by its new exhibits of survivor artifacts and learned how they could save a life with a simple phone call.
The new exhibits with survivor artifacts powerfully impacted the people who saw them.
"We'd like to thank not only those who walked through the FDP but then made a commitment to take this information back to their company, family, and community," said Helen Van Dam, FDP director. "We're grateful for the opportunity to work with the men and women on the front lines so they can recognize and report trafficking. Thank you also to Randall Riley for discounting our booth, to Quality Carriers and UPS Freight for hauling the Freedom Drivers Project and to Bridgestone Commercial Solutions for sending volunteers to help us run our booth."
Upcoming Events

Sept. 4-7 - United Way Business Forum to Combat Human Trafficking, Washington, DC, Laura Cyrus, TAT operations director, presenting

Sept. 6  Oregon coalition build, Salem, OR, FDP present and Esther Goetsch, TAT coalition build specialist, and Tajuan McCarty, survivor-leader and TAT field trainer, presenting 

Sept. 13-14  Oklahoma AG Partners for Change Conference, Norman, OK, Kylla Lanier, TAT deputy director, presenting

Sept. 14 Hawaii Transportation Association, Honolulu, HI, Helen Van Dam, TAT FDP director, presenting

Sept. 15 - Werner Safety Days, Omaha, NE, Molly Griffiths, TAT administrative specialist, and the FDP, attending

Sept. 18 Maine Motor Transport Association Safety Conference, Rockport, MN, Kylla Lanier, TAT deputy director, presenting

Sept. 27 -  IFTA/IRP Managers and Law Enforcement workshop, Helen Van Dam, TAT FDP director, and FDP, attending

Sept. 26-29Consejo Ciudadano conference, Mexico City, Mexico, Kylla Lanier, TAT deputy director, presenting

Sept. 29 - Idaho Criminal Justice Commission Meeting, Boise, ID, Kendis Paris, TAT executive director, presenting
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Truckers Against Trafficking 
PO Box 816 | Englewood, CO 80151