Learn about the programs and projects Chains Interrupted uses to fight against human trafficking.

“UnChainEd” Community Coalition

Chains Interrupted created and maintains a Community Coalition. This collaborative, community response group includes over 170 individuals, organizations and businesses in Cedar Rapids and along the I-380 area. Quarterly meetings provide intentional networking, educational sessions, updates, and identify action steps members can do to fight human trafficking.

In 2019, the Coalition helped pass a Cedar Rapids ordinance to license and monitor illicit massage parlors. This and other efforts help keep illegal activity out of the massage therapy industry and reduce human trafficking.

School Project

Traffickers target children.

The Chains Interrupted school project serves the Grant Wood Area Education Agency. We train volunteers to reach out to vulnerable school-age children by visiting schools. Our Volunteers warn youth to about the manipulation and deceit that traffickers use to lure them into sexual exploitation. We also seek to reach parents and teachers with this important information.

Hotel/Motel Project

Some studies have shown up to 70-90% of human trafficking takes place in hotels or motels. This highlights the importance of educating staff at these establishments.

We equip volunteers with presentations, posters and protocols to train hotel and motel staff about trafficking. They learn how to recognize the signs of human trafficking, and what to do should they see something.

Presentations for Health Care Professionals

A recent study in the Annals of Health Law showed up to 88% of human trafficking survivors say they received care from a health care professional during the time of their captivity, yet very few received help. Most health care professionals state they have not received training in the signs of human trafficking, and a plan of action.

Mercy Medical Center (MMC) in Cedar Rapids is the first hospital in Iowa (and fifth in the nation) to hire an Anti-Human Trafficking Coordinator in a hospital, making MMC a safe place for victims to find help. The Coordinator also assists other hospitals and clinics through trainings and to formulate policies and procedures to potentially assist the 88%!

Mercy Medical Center provides human trafficking presentations for health care professionals to teach them to recognize the signs of human trafficking. These presentations are not provided by Chains Interrupted – however, we want to bring attention to what is being offered in our community and help you schedule a speaker (see link below)! 

Request a speaker for your hospital or clinic.

Stop the Demand

Multiple studies have shown a direct link between pornography and human trafficking.

  • Trafficking victims are often exploited in the production of pornography
  • Many survivors state that buyers showed them pornography to tell them what they wanted them to do
  • Watching pornography leads to needing to act out what the person has seen – many times the need is so graphic, the buyer has to go to someone who doesn’t have a choice

“If prostitution is the main act, pornography is the dress rehearsal” – Victor Malarek

Recovery Program

Chains Interrupted partners with an organization that has a program to help men struggling with pornography addiction (a program for women is in the works) Stop the Demand offers hope and recovery through a discrete group study environment and aid participants in developing personal accountability.

If you need assistance, email Stop the Demand.

Community Education Program

As a Nurse Practitioner, Teresa can help educate people about how pornography:

  • Changes the brain
  • Causes powerful addictions
  • Links directly to sex trafficking

Request a speaker to schedule a presentation to your group.

International Missions

Guatemala is a human trafficking source, destination and transit country. The population of the country is particularly vulnerable to becoming trafficking victims. Chains Interrupted partners with IMPACTO Ministries and the Protect Me Project to provide prevention education in Guatemala about child sexual abuse and human trafficking.

During our Community Needs Assessment, we learned that there is a great need for a Safe House for girls in rural areas in Guatemala. We are collaborating with IMPACTO Ministries to develop this.