New Tool To Prevent Child Exploitation Showcased Throughout SXSW

FOX 7 AUSTIN's Good Day Austin to Experience TRAPPED: A VR Detective Story During South by Southwest
TRAPPED: A VR Detective Story, for HTC Vive
TRAPPED: A VR Detective Story, for HTC Vive
AUSTIN, Texas - March 4, 2018 - PRLog -- Virtual Reality can make you feel empathy. That's the premise of TRAPPED: A VR Detective Story, an interactive virtual reality experience that puts you in the shoes of a victim, Lisa, as she shares what it's like to be pulled into this horrible life.

TRAPPED is being showcased on FOX 7's Good Day Austin morning show on March 7th at 7:20 am. It is a virtual experience made to change your perspective about how to recognize a victim of human trafficking. It is an additional tool to educate middle and high schoolers about this very real issue facing everyone across the globe.

"Knowing how to identify a victim could save their life, and we want you to have a lasting empathetic experience when you are learning these signs," says Billy Joe Cain, President of Radical Empathy Education Foundation (REEF). "When people care about something, they remember it much longer. We are giving them the tools to stop exploitation."

Interactive virtual worlds allow users to "choose their own adventure" in a completely immersive, three-dimensional environment. This agency allows users to experience material at the speed and depth of their level of interest. Users of TRAPPED are exposed to Lisa's story, from meeting her boyfriend online and how he slowly turned her into a victim.

REEF worked with experts in the anti-trafficking field with the prevention of child exploitation in mind. During the story of TRAPPED, users learn how Lisa was manipulated into becoming a victim by a boy she met online, a very common grooming technique. Segments of the story relate to signs from the "Recognize the Signs" campaign by the Polaris Project, a leader in human trafficking issues in the United States. Users learn these signs from Lisa's experience instead of a sheet of paper, and the personal connection increases retention of the material.

Educators, parents, and students are invited to come experience TRAPPED in person at SXSW Gaming, booth 2517, from March 15-17, 2018. Private or press demonstrations are also available from March 3-17 by appointment.


Radical Empathy Education Foundation (REEF) is an Austin-based nonprofit currently developing immersive Virtual Reality (VR) experiences dedicated to the eradication of one of the 21st century's greatest injustices: Human Trafficking. To support REEF's work, please visit

Need help?
National Human Trafficking Resource Center
United States: 1 (888) 373-7888
SMS: 233733 (Text "HELP" or "INFO")
Hours: 24 hours, 7 days a week

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