Friday, January 23, 2015

Break Free and 3Strands Global, Inc. Join Forces to Combat Human Trafficking

Two Organizations with One Vision
Ashlie M. Bryant 

3Strands Global recently merged to unite and mobilize a global community of individuals and organizations to combat human trafficking. Together as one organization, 3Strands Global, Inc. and Break Free will provide jobs, raise funds, build awareness and provide education and resources to fight human trafficking. We are in this fight together because we believe human trafficking and modern day slavery are NOT OK, and everyone can make a difference.

The timing was right for both organizations to come together and rally around this cause. There is a shared common vision to end human trafficking and build a worldwide community of supporters in order to do so.The expanded community of individuals and partners is rapidly growing and working together as a united front toward the common vision to end human trafficking. Our mission is to combat human trafficking through sustainable employment, education and engagement initiatives. Each initiative takes on a unique approach to combatting human trafficking, and the combination of all three initiatives is a powerful approach and enables change.

3Strands Global provides sustainable business initiatives to employ rescued and at-risk youth in underserved communities. We sell quality handmade products through the 3Strands Global cause marketplace, with 100 percent of the profits of the product sales going directly to support survivors of human trafficking and those at-risk. Through the sale of every 3Strands Global product, funds are raised to help empower, teach and employ young women. The organization has plans to expand its employment opportunities in the U.S. and abroad in Cambodia, Nepal and Haiti —communities at risk for human trafficking.

Break Free Education, powered by 3Strands Global, Inc., raises awareness about human trafficking and offers a free, onsite education program designed to help students understand and recognize human trafficking and thereby create a generation less susceptible to victimization. Our prevention program educates students in middle school, high school and college, as well as communities, about human trafficking. This issue is real and happening in communities, large and small. It is important that we educate our youth as well as the communities we live in to support prevention efforts. Education is one of our best defenses against human trafficking.

3Strands provides Break Free awareness programs and events, including Break Free Runs, to engage partners, organizations and local communities to mobilize in human trafficking efforts. Break Free’s 5K and 10K races are an integral part of our fundraising efforts. To date, we have hosted more than 12,500 race participants and raised more than $750,000 – with more than 90 percent of proceeds going directly toward anti-trafficking programs to further the organization’s mission. We have united thousands of individuals and hundreds of organizations around the cause through our local runs in Northern California. We will be hosting community-based Break Free Runs across the U.S., in collaboration with local partners and service organizations.

Earlier this month, we engaged a community and invited individuals and organizations to help raise awareness and funds to address the issue of human trafficking. Partners around the world are being asked to say: “It’s NOT OK” by texting “DOSOMETHING” to 56316; join 3Strands community and make a donation; and share “It’s NOT OK –Do Something” with friends and family. We encourage you to “Do Something” too.

We also support beneficiary programs dedicated to rescue efforts, rehabilitation and restoration of victims and survivors. We collaborate with organizations and programs that offer unique and effective approaches to fighting human trafficking including restorative services to survivors and preventative efforts for vulnerable and at-risk youth.

Human trafficking is NOT OK and we believe everyone can make a difference, and know there is strength in numbers. Together, 3Strands Global, Inc. and Break Free are completely focused on building a worldwide community to end this horrible tragedy.

Follow 3Strands Global on Twitter and Instagram @3StrandsGlobal, and "Like" 3Strands Global on Facebook.

Visit for more information.

Ashlie M. Bryant
Global Executive Vice President of Development and Outreach, 3Strands Global, Inc.
Founder of Break Free

As the global executive vice president of development and outreach at 3Strands Global, Inc. and founder of Break Free, Ashlie Bryant’s diverse responsibilities include speaking, training, educating, donor interaction and managing partner relationships. Ashlie has been a part of the CA Attorney General’s round table in Sacramento, which focuses on collaborative solutions to human trafficking. In 2013, Ashlie was awarded a Resolution by the California State Senate for her hard work and dedication in the fight against human trafficking. Ashlie is a leader in the fight to end human trafficking. When a local 17-year-old girl was taken from a grocery store in her sleepy Sacramento suburb, Ashlie was shocked and stunned that the crime of human trafficking occurred not only in the U.S., but also right in her backyard. Inspired to take action, she and three friends founded Break Free with the mission of raising awareness and funds to combat human trafficking. Under Ashlie’s leadership, Break Free provided human trafficking education to more than 7,000 students in the classroom, hosted more than 12,500 race participants at the Race to End Human Trafficking in Folsom and Oakland, raised more than $750,000 and donated to more than 15 different beneficiary programs.

Friday, January 9, 2015

In the Fight Against Human Trafficking, Why Truckers?

By Lyn Thompson, Co-Founder, Truckers Against Trafficking

When working on a strategy to fight human trafficking, one of the first steps should be to determine which groups of people have the greatest opportunity to spot human trafficking as it is happening. In other words, who could serve as the primary surveillance?

When it comes to this crime, those front-line people include such groups as medical personnel, who treat victims in medical clinics, and service personnel in local neighborhoods (such as postal workers, and cable, electrical, and water providers), who come by homes on a regular basis and would notice if something unusual was going on. Restaurant and hotel personnel could also see trafficking taking place in their establishments, as could members of the transportation industry, including airport employees. Traffickers are continually transporting victims to sell them in a variety of places.

Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) began in 2009 as an initiative of Chapter 61 Ministries to work with the trucking industry, which is seven million strong. Truckers are trained to be extremely observant.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Staying Safe on the Road: Interview with Judy Utter of MADD

Earlier this month, we sat down with Judy Utter, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Victim Services Specialist, to talk about their victim services program and how to plan ahead for holiday celebrations.

What is MADD’s mission?

MADD’s mission is to stop drunk driving, support the victims of this violent crime, and to prevent under aged drinking.

What services does MADD provide for victims of drunk driving?

Our victims’ services vary depending on what our victims need. First of all we provide information on community resources that can assist the victims’ specific needs or emergency funding, and we attend court with victims if they want to be involved in the judicial process. We also have lots of grief materials that help victims cope with the grief and the emotions that surround a DUI. We have support groups in many of our offices including Sacramento, and I have facilitated one here for about 20 years. We are just generally available to listen to the victims and help them move forward from the crash.

What preventative programs are offered for under aged drivers?

We have three main focuses for educating under aged drivers. First we have our “Power of Parents” program that helps parents con verse with their teen about the issue of drinking. We also have a “Power of Teens” program which helps teen understand the reasons why 21 is the legal drinking age. Lastly we have our “Start Making a Right Turn” program which help teens who are in a crisis or who are on the edge by interacting with the teen and parents together to help get them back to the right path.

What is something that most people don’t know about drunk driving?

Monday, November 3, 2014

Ending Domestic Violence Year-Round

By Shaina Brown, Public Affairs and Communications Associate, California Coalition Against Sexual Assault

As we close out Domestic Violence Awareness Month, I am moved to remember that our work never stops. Domestic Violence Awareness Month, like Sexual Assault Awareness Month, does not have a shelf life of 30 days. The work of advocates, the experiences of survivors, and the dedication of state agencies is not limited to one month a year. Rather, we are dedicated to ending violence 365 days a year.

The California Coalition Against Sexual Assault works with partners like the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence to advance the issues of sexual assault and domestic violence in unison. Together, we are stronger and are more poised for success as we develop funding, advocate for legislation, and create programs to support survivors.

Shaina Brown speaks at the Suited for Successful Families donation turnover event
CALCASA was honored to be recognized with CalVCP’s “Excellence in Victims’ Rights Award” during the Suited for Successful Families event at the Capitol on Wednesday. The event partners raised over 7,000 pieces of clothing that has been donated to local domestic violence agencies to empower families! We applaud CalVCP for their dedication and we hope that we will take the success and inspiration of Domestic Violence Awareness Month and harness it for positive change every day!

Shaina Brown is responsible for managing strategic communications and providing analysis on legislative issues related to sexual violence for the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault. Shaina has a background in public affairs, media relations and grants management. Shaina joined the movement to end sexual violence in 2009, serving as a volunteer for Jeans 4 Justice, a San Diego based social change organization.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Melissa Melendez: State Needs Tougher Domestic Violence Laws

By Melissa Melendez, California State Assemblymember (R—Lake Elsinore)

Over the last month, America’s favorite sport has provided a spotlight on one of America’s oldest cultural blemishes – domestic violence.

The catalysts and reasons for domestic violence are numerous. For some, it is a part of a broader struggle with substance abuse, while for others it is just the way that they were raised.

The very sad fact remains that people are abused because their abuser knows that not only are they likely to get away with it, but that the consequences – both legal and societal – are not large concerns.

Let me speak plainly. That last fact is our fault.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Commemorating Domestic Violence Awareness Month

By Julie Nauman, VCGCB Executive Officer

There’s a reason you cannot get away from the story of Ray Rice, NFL running back who assaulted his then-fiancĂ© and now-wife. Why has the video been played and replayed, and the incident rehashed over and over, across social media, print media, and television outlets? Yes, Rice is a multimillionaire and celebrity sports figure. But there is a bigger picture explanation: the issue resonates with people.

Domestic violence (DV) affects 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men. DV victims make up over one-fourth of CalVCP applications annually. It’s a pervasive problem that takes victims of any age, economic status, race, religion, nationality or educational background, and it needs to be more effectively addressed.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Reaching Victims in the Social Sphere

What do the 1.3 billion active Facebook users have in common? Or the 645 million Twitter, 300 million LinkedIn, and 200 million Instagram users? They make themselves reachable. Marketers have known this for years, and have taken advantage by aggressively targeting consumers through their social media networks. There is no doubt that social media provides great potential to reach specific audiences, and the California Victim Compensation Program (CalVCP) is demonstrating how government agencies can tap into this digital dialogue to better serve their citizens.

CalVCP processes over 50,000 applications for services to victims and survivors of crime each year, an average of almost 1,000 each week. Still, nearly half of violent crimes are never reported — that’s almost 50% of victims who are not represented in published statistics. How can we reach these hidden populations? Enter social media. While CalVCP continues to conduct traditional outreach through advertising, PSA's, event participation and the like, we recognize the importance of joining the online discussion to better assist victims of crime.