Truckers Against Trafficking is taking advantage of mandated time away from the public circuit to upgrade their Freedom Drivers Project show trailer.
“While we would rather be on the road educating the public, we’re excited to have the opportunity to update our training material panel,” TAT Systems Administrator Susan Dold said.
She went on to describe a new virtual experience for users, something the advocacy group plans to have available soon.
“The virtual tour is something I think will continue, even when we can get back out there. You can’t replace the face-to-face interactions but you also can’t deny the reach this could have beyond our ability to attend public events,” Dold said. .
Before COVID-19, Dold traveled with the 48-foot renovated show trailer for a year-and-a-half to various locations, educating the public on the realities of human trafficking.
“All of our information is appropriate for the general public, and of course our main focus has always been the trucking industry,” Dold said. “Some of the updates being done within the trailer include educational information targeted specifically for our recent liaisons with American Bus Association and the Energy Industry.”
Included within the display are actual artifacts and stories from survivors of human trafficking.
“These are compelling stories told by real people who survived,” Dold said.
A video addressing the demand for trafficked individuals, along with statements from drivers regarding why they would never purchase a trafficked human being also will be a part of the experience.
“Obviously, if there is no demand there’s no reason for supply,” she said. “We hear a lot of drivers say, ‘That could be my daughter,’ and that’s an impactful message for other drivers.”
TAT’s Man-to-Man campaign addresses this issue and provides drivers with information to help end human trafficking altogether.
In addition to the traveling (and soon to be virtual) trailer, TAT provides Law Enforcement Training to educate law enforcement officers in dealing with trafficked and prostituted people in a humane and effective manner. This seminar is the only TAT training that requires face-to-face interaction. It is on pause awaiting COVID-19 restrictions to be lifted for public gatherings.
“Fortunately, the bulk of our training hasn’t changed at all during the pandemic,” Dold said. “All of our material used by fleets and other training facilities is already accessed through electronic learning systems for multiple-class use.”
Updates and links for the Freedom Driver Project virtual tour will be forthcoming in the next few weeks.