Important and Timely Topics

Successful first hotel motel training of trainers

Thanks to the three Nebraska trainers from the Coalition on Human Trafficking and the 31 Central Iowa volunteers who participated in the 3-hour inaugural training. The training of trainers was completed on September 13th, 2017.

The newly trained teams composed of ambassadors and trainers are now contacting Hotel /Motel managers and owners in order to schedule on-site employee training.

Network Board member Shirley Reding chairs the Central Iowa Hotel/Motel Project Steering Committee and arranged for the pizza and refreshments for the participants. Shirlee registered the 31 volunteers and also arranged for the Des Moines Plymouth Congregational Church to host the training event.

Coalition on Human Trafficking Volunteer Training ManualEach participant received an 80 page three-ring notebook (see photo of cover) plus materials to utilize at each hotel motel training. The cost to produce these notebooks and to pay for the travel expenses of the three Nebraska trainers as well as other costs are being covered by the Greater Des Moines Community Foundation. The network is very grateful to the foundation and its 3 donors who specifically funded the Central Iowa Hotel/Motel Project.

Trainers are now fanning out across central Iowa to begin offering the 45-minute training to hospitality industry employees in a 7 county central Iowa service area (with primary focus on Des Moines.)

For more information about the Central Iowa Hotel/Motel Project please contact Katie Stringer at

Sexual Exploitation Victim Identified through Teens Against Human Trafficking (TAHT)

Teens Against Human Trafficking (TAHT), a program of YSS is creating real impact across Iowa.

Recently a TAHT team member presented to nearly 300 middle school students and facility over a four day period. This single TAHT outreach effort had an immediate impact for twelve students who were referred to victim services. The referrals included a student who disclosed that they had been seriously sexually exploited, but before the presentation hadn’t known how to get help.

Since late 2016 this scenario has played out more than 150 times for TAHT team members. Every day, Teens Against Human Trafficking is changing lives through peer-to-peer education, creating lifelong ambassadors in the fight against human trafficking.

To learn more, or to start a TAHT team at your school, visit or contact Ruth Buckels, TAHT Coordinator at or 515-233-2250.

Update from Congress on Federal Legislation

Both the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (S. 1312, Grassley-Feinstein-Cornyn-Klobuchar) and the Abolish Human Trafficking Act (S. 1311, Cornyn-Klobuchar-Grassley-Feinstein) passed the Senate this evening. Thanks so much for your support of these bills, which seek to combat domestic trafficking in the United States; Sen. Grassley, in his capacity as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, led our committee in reporting both bills to the full Senate on June 29 th . They passed the full Senate without a single dissenting vote.

Sen. Corker, in his capacity as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is working on an international trafficking bill. His committee is expected to debate that measure in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, the U.S. House recently passed H.R. 2200, authored by Rep. Chris Smith, which covers both domestic and international forms of human trafficking.

The next step is for us to work with the House on the final version of trafficking legislation. I’ll keep you updated as things progress, but feel free to call me for an update or for more information,
Evelyn Fortier
(Chairman Grassley’s staff)
U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee
Washington, DC

Newly funded Human Trafficking Prevention and Education programs

(SFY 2018 grantees funded by the Crime Victims Assistance Division of the Iowa Attorney General’s Office)

  1. Family Resources – Braking Traffik – Davenport
    Working with Justice for Our Neighbors to focus on labor trafficking outreach
    Contact information: Cathy O’Keefe – 563-468-2381
  2. Youth Shelter Services – Ames
    Community Educator doing prevention curriculum in schools
    Contact Information: Ruth Buckels: 515-233-2250
  3. Rape Victim Advocacy Program – Iowa City
    Costs for creation and dissemination of bilingual social media video
    Advertisement strategy targeting Iowa’s Latino communities regarding human trafficking.
    Contact information: Adam Robinson – 319-335-6001
  4. Wings of Refuge – Iowa Falls
    Costs for printed educational materials for the year including informational Handouts, posters, and training manuals.
    Contact information: Bev Shipley – 641-640-1327
  5. Meskwaki Settlement – Tama
    Costs for fees and travel for external consultants to develop a strategic plan focused on human trafficking
    Contact information: Mylene Wanate, Director – 641-484-4444
  6. Iowa Safe Schools – Statewide
    Costs for creation and dissemination of a social media campaign advertising
    Human trafficking awareness through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram;
    Costs for creation of campaign to focus on increasing visibility of the issue of Human trafficking creating awareness about educational events, and engaging Iowans to sign up for more information regarding human trafficking;
    Costs for creation of specialized Pride Packs to be handed out at Iowa Pride
    Events that focus on human trafficking.
    Contact Information: Nate Monson – 515-729-4121
  7. Blank Children’s Hospital Child Advocacy Center – Des Moines
    Travel/Training and database creation to track at-risk kids making contact with members of the MDT team showing human trafficking indicators.
    Contact Information: Nikki Romer, Forensic Interviewer – 515-241-4311
  8. Iowa Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Enforcement – Statewide
    Costs to develop and air statewide PSA campaign (via radio, satellite radio, and social media) instructing Iowa motorists to call appropriate human trafficking hotlines and victim services agencies.
    Contact information: Chief Dave Lorenzen – 515-237-3215

Cedar Rapids faith based agency added to the Resource section of NAHT website

Chains Interrupted is a faith-based nonprofit that provides the following services (see their website for further details):

  • Speaker’s Bureau : Provides trained speakers to present on various topics of human trafficking for organizations, business, church group, school, or private gatherings. Their current Feature Presentation is: “How to Talk with Victims of Human Trafficking.” Chains Interrupted has also partnered with the Iowa Network Against Human Trafficking and the NE Coalition to provide specific training for
    Hotel and Motel employees.
  • Coalition : Currently a group of over 75 organizations, businesses, churches and individuals who gather quarterly for education, networking and building an action plan for front-line personnel. The Cedar-Rapids based Coalition extends its welcome across Iowa, but especially to the Waterloo, Iowa City and ‘anywhere in between’ areas.
  • “Stop the Demand Project” : Stopping the demand for trafficked persons is likely the most important way to stop Human Trafficking. This Chains Interrupted project seeks to educate the public on the direct link between pornography and human trafficking, as well as provide services and support for those addicted. We are now working on projects to decrease the demand for commercial sex.
  • Missions : Chains Interrupted has local, national and international mission projects. They plan to serve at the Super Bowl in projects against Human Trafficking. Partnering with the Protect Me Project, they work in Guatemala in 1) Prevention education, 2) Restoration work, and 3) Providing respectable jobs for women.
  • Contact Information :

September 25th Hotel/Motel Training Call for Volunteers

Chains Interrupted, based in Cedar Rapids, is putting out a call for volunteers to be trained to conduct an educational program for hotel/motel employees. Chains Interrupted has partnered with the Nebraska Coalition on Human Trafficking and the Iowa Network against Human Trafficking and Slavery for this project. The Coalition is sending three trainers and providing the hotel project training materials. The training will take place on Monday, September 25th, 6:00-9:00pm at Living Hope Wesleyan Church in Cedar Rapids.

Take note that this training is for those who reside in Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, and Waterloo. To register for the September 25th training, contact Teresa Davidson at and be sure to send all of your contact info. Each trained volunteer must agree to provide a minimum of three hotel/motel trainings either as an ambassador or trainer.