Weatherford Democrat

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July 6, 2013

Volunteer training aims to prevent minor sex trafficking

By JUDY SHERIDAN

WILLOW PARK – Traffick911, a non-profit organization working to end domestic minor sex trafficking, will offer a volunteer orientation and training event from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, July 9, at Trinity Bible Church, 4936 Interstate 20 Service Road, in Willow Park.

Founder and Executive Director Deena Graves said church members were moved to stage the event after the organization gave a presentation to the church’s missions’ team.

Graves said the sexual enslavement of children is a problem everywhere in America.

Traffick911 is just getting started in Parker County, she said, but in the last few months the organization has discovered 39 victims in Denton, Collin, Tarrant and Dallas counties.

“You have a lot of truck stops in Parker County, and that is one of the most prevalent areas,” she said. “You have poverty and homelessness, factors that make a child higher risk.”

Graves said the organization’s goal is to expand its programs into Parker County.

RSVPs are not required for the event, and anyone is welcome to attend, according to organizers, whether they are just interested in learning more about the organization or are ready to volunteer.

According to the organization’s website, Traffick911 centers its volunteer opportunities around three areas: prevention, rescue and restoration.

Volunteers participate in juvenile justice and missing children intervention, community engagement, care intervention and fundraising.

Traffick911 is also working to build Triumph House, a long-term restorative campus of small homes, on a 168-acre ranch within a couple hours of most major Texas cities.

In addition to attending a volunteer orientation, those who become volunteers must submit two letters of reference, provide a background check and sign a waiver and release from liability.

According to the website, Traffick911 began in Fort Worth, when Graves first learned about the sexual slavery of children that was happening in the United States.

Contact parkervolunteers@traffick911.org for more information on the orientation. To learn more about the volunteer process, email volunteer@traffick911.org.

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