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"For the first time ever, she imagined herself free from exploitation"

Carla, 2024


ur team in Austin, TX partners with the Department of Public Safety (DPS) Human Trafficking Squad on proactive, victim-centered undercover operations designed to bring in individuals who have a high likelihood of being trafficked.

On our first operation, we met Carla*, a woman who was being trafficked in Austin for South by Southwest (SXSW).


Carla was 18, comes from a lot of familial instability, and experienced abuse throughout her childhood. Our team built a connection with her during the operation, and we were able to assist in getting her safe shelter for the night.


Over the course of two months, we continued to meet Carla’s tangible needs and provided crisis intervention, advocacy, and relational support. As we continued to spend time with her, she began questioning if she wanted to return to her hometown and “the life.”


We made space for her to talk with advocates and survivor leaders through SAFE CARES as she processed this decision and continued working with law enforcement agents to identify her trafficker.


For the first time ever, she said she could imagine a life for herself free of exploitation with so many opportunities she never thought were available to her. In addition, as a result of the operation and Carla’s collaboration with law enforcement, a trafficker was successfully apprehended.


Though we know the journey to ultimately leaving sexual exploitation and trafficking is long and hard, we are grateful to be walking this journey alongside Carla.

*To protect confidentiality, all names have been changed and stock photos may be used.

Minor details may have been edited.

Please reference our Media Ethics Policy to read more.

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