Carissa Phelps, CEO of Runaway Girl, Brings Hope to Victims and Insight to Law Enforcement: Joint Regional Intelligence Center

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Former Sex Traffic Survivor and Advocate to Speak at August 13-14 Workshops

Special Note: The workshop is NOT open to the public or media. Carissa is available for media interviews PRIOR to or AFTER the workshop.

Carissa Phelps, now CEO of Runaway Girl, FPC (a California flexible purpose corporation), ran away from home at age 12. She dropped out of school, missing grades 7th, 8th and 9th, and fell into the arms of a brutal pimp, who made her walk the streets of central California. Even when she escaped him she could not outrun the crushing inner pain of abuse, neglect and abandonment. But then her life was transformed through the unexpected kindness of a math teacher and a counselor. By the time Carissa turned 30, she accomplished the unimaginable: graduating from UCLA with a law degree and MBA.

Hosted by the Joint Regional Intelligence Center – a fusion center critical to fighting human trafficking by sharing information and intelligence – information is converted into operational intelligence to detect, deter and defend against major criminal threats within the seven county jurisdiction of the FBI Los Angeles field office.

Carissa will lead a workshop for law enforcement officers on how to address human trafficking survivors especially when they are hesitant to work with officials or not requesting services or help. Specific human trafficking victim response skills will be covered, with exercises to illustrate the full spectrum of human trafficking from labor or sex trafficking, domestic and international.

Where:     Oxnard, CA, August 13, 2013, 8:00 am to noon
When:     Whittier, CA, August 14, 2013, 8:00 am to noon

Carissa, CEO “Creating Employment Opportunities” for Runaway Girl, offers community and service provider trainings to improve outcomes for youth by supporting and enhancing local efforts to protect and care for those at-risk. In her memoir, Runaway Girl: Escaping Life on the Streets, One Helping Hand at a Time, Carissa shares how the unexpected kindness of a math teacher and a counselor transformed her life and helped her become a mentor and advocate.

In 2012, Carissa, a licensed attorney, founded Runaway Girl to organize survivors of human trafficking around resources, networks, business, and local efforts to protect and care for survivors within their own communities. Runaway Girl trainings improve protocols and responses to child sex trafficking within communities, while offering employment and career development opportunities to runaways, former runaways, and survivors of trafficking.

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Susan Bitar
CAL OES
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