The month of March has been a busy and productive time for our organization’s programs, with SAFE, CEASE, and TRUST leading the way. These programs have been actively engaged in providing trainings, public awareness, and outreach events throughout the community. During this time, our team has remained dedicated to their mission, achieving significant milestones such as the recertification of two organizations under the SAFE program, and the establishment of Tempe as a new CEASE City.
CEASE | Arizona
AATN’s Cities Empowered Against Sexual Exploitation (CEASE) program has undergone tremendous growth since it was re-launched in the summer of 2022. Notably, we are proud to announce that the City of Tempe has completed their training requirements to become a CEASE Designated City, joining the City of Scottsdale. Presently, many cities throughout Arizona have also either begun the CEASE designation process or have officially committed to beginning training in the coming months.
While training and policy reform within cities and towns is the primary focus of CEASE, the opportunity to positively impact efforts to combat sexual exploitation at the county level cannot be understated. With this in mind, and largely due to the efforts and commitment from our partners at Coconino County, the CEASE program is now available to county governments.
To receive the CEASE City Designation, municipalities must train at least 75% of their workforce utilizing the CEASE human trafficking curriculum, alongside a commitment to annual re-training and integration of the curriculum into new hire onboarding. CEASE continues to provide support to designated cities on an on-going basis through policy recommendations related to sexual exploitation crimes, technical assistance and more.
For more information, please contact Michelle Rucker at Michelle@AATN.org.
CSI | Community Schools Initiative
CSI has been busy the last month with various activities with our 15 students. Students went on a field trip to the Sandra Day O’Connor United States Courthouse to do a Mock Trial. They were able to work with various judges, attorneys, court reporters and deputies. They acted as the witness, the victim, and the jury. The kids favorite visit of the day was a US Marshall and his trained K9. Other highlights were speakers including Red Light Rebellion who came for two days to talk about healthy relationships, pornography, and sex trafficking. Annie Laurie Van Wie, Superior Court Commissioner for Maricopa County came to talk to the kids about her life story of trauma to triumph. We love teaching the kids how to give back to the community and they have also been busy making desserts for a 300-person charity event. For more information, please contact Shannon Tiffany at Shannon@aatn.org
JUST.Men recently hosted a training on sex buyers and how men are involved in sexual exploitation. In addition, Just.Men continues to discuss why educating men about exploitation and sex trafficking is so important in the community. Having these continued conversations with other men is critical. Just.Men continues to work on demand reduction with various community partners throughout the state of Arizona. For more information, please contact Nick Lembo at Nick@aatn.org
SAFE ACTION Project
Talking Stick Resort and Casino Arizona completed their SAFE Action Project Certification. The Security Training Staff and AATN have trained 3025 members in just over 2 months. It is inspiring to see the dedication and passion Casino Arizona and Talking Stick Resort have exhibited as they continue to work towards becoming the first casinos in Arizona to be fully SAFE Certified. Visit Mesa was the first organization to complete their 2023 SAFE Action Project recertification and the Arizona Office of Tourism also completed their recertification for 2023. For more information, please contact Nate Boulter at Nate@aatn.org
TRUST has been actively involved in providing community trainings on human trafficking awareness, focusing on how to recognize, respond and report cases of human trafficking. The trainings were targeted towards a diverse group of individuals, including community members, school-aged children, teachers, and social service workers. In addition to community trainings TRUST remains a partner in various public awareness and outreach efforts throughout the Phoenix Metro Area. They remain committed to their mission of raising awareness and preventing human trafficking in the community. For more information, please contact Stacey Sutherland at Stacey@aatn.org