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Last week at the NACS show, we were honored to be joined at our booth by representatives from In Our Backyard, a non-profit organization dedicated to stopping the epidemic of human trafficking. We’ve always known that the convenience store industry has a lot of heart, and the conversations we had at the show proved that even further. From managers of large chains to independent operators, it’s clear that convenience store leaders want to make a difference in their local communities. Feedback on the Community Heroes: C-Stores Stop Human Trafficking training program was inspiring. Here at Ready Training Online, we’re proud to offer this training to convenience stores free of charge. Click here to join the movement.

Convenience Stores against Human Trafficking

Human trafficking can happen anywhere and, in fact, it does. According to the experts at In Our Backyard, there are cases of human trafficking in every zip code in America. About 80 percent of all trafficked individuals are female, and about 50 percent are children. Victims of human trafficking are looking for ways out, and now, you have the opportunity to offer that life-saving help.

Your Role in Human Trafficking Prevention

In Our Backyard has launched an initiative to reach out to human trafficking victims in a way that makes them feel safe. Your convenience store may be that safe haven for victims. With more than 150,000 locations, convenience stores serve half of the U.S. population every day. Your longer operating hours appeal to traffickers who may stop at your store to use your location’s public restroom or to purchase food, fuel, cigarettes, or condoms.

Free Training for You and Your Staff

Convenience stores are often the cornerstones of local communities. You and your staff care about your customers and your neighborhoods. That compassion and knowledge put you in a unique position to spot crimes such as human trafficking. With the right training, you and your employees can save lives. Community Heroes: C-Stores Stop Human Trafficking is available for free to convenience stores through Ready Training Online. This human trafficking prevention online training module teaches convenience store employees how to recognize the signs of human trafficking and what to do to safely report it through the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline.

Freedom Stickers for Your Restrooms

Victims of human trafficking are denied basic human rights, and traffickers use violence and coercion to control them. Often, the only place victims are left alone is in the restroom. In Our Backyard’s Freedom Stickers posted in restroom stalls give victims the information they need to reach out for help. Victims often have access to a cell phone, but they’re conditioned to fear law enforcement. The hotline is staffed by specially trained victim advocates who can provide the help victims need to find freedom.

Be Part of the Movement

Convenience stores are making a difference, and your store can too. Be part of the solution in human trafficking prevention – click here to join the movement for free.