PBS Features Virtual Reality Experience Created to Stop Child Exploitation

KLRU's Decibel to Showcase VR Experience TRAPPED: A VR Detective Story from Radical Empathy Education Foundation
TRAPPED: A VR Detective Story on HTC Vive
TRAPPED: A VR Detective Story on HTC Vive
AUSTIN, Texas - March 11, 2018 - PRLog -- Virtual Reality can make you feel empathy for others. That's the premise of TRAPPED: A VR Detective Story, an interactive virtual reality experience that puts you in the shoes of a victim of human trafficking, Lisa, as she shares what it's like to be pulled into this horrible life.

Radical Empathy Education Foundation (REEF) created TRAPPED, a narrative story experience, to change perspectives about how to recognize a victim of human trafficking. Parents and teachers can use it as an additional tool to educate students about this very real issue facing everyone across the globe.

Lisa's story is aligned with Polaris Project's "Recognize the Signs" campaign, which highlights potential red flags and teaches the indicators of human trafficking, so users can help identify more victims to help them find the assistance they need. Users learn these signs from Lisa's experience, and the personal connection increases retention of the material.

"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 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.

Developers 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.

REEF also provides supporting materials for educators aligned with United Nations' Sustainable Development Goal #5, Gender Equality. These materials include an authoritative primer on human trafficking from a factual, legal viewpoint as well as documentation for teachers to use to create lesson plans for their classes.

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 by appointment at any time.


Radical Empathy Education Foundation (REEF) is an Austin-based nonprofit that uses immersive Virtual Reality (VR) experiences to eradicate of one of the 21st century's greatest injustices: Human Trafficking. To support REEF's work, please visit https://www.radicalempathyfoundation.org/donate

Radical Empathy Education Foundation welcomes you to visit their GoFundMe with reward levels for corporate donors at https://www.gofundme.com/radicalempathy

Join us on social media @reefcares across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Polaris Project's "Recognize the Signs" campaign

United Nations' Sustainable Development Goal #5, Gender Equality


Decibel amplifies stories and issues important to Austin by listening to the community and encouraging dynamic discussions. It is the new News & Public Affairs initiative from KLRU-TV, Austin PBS, taking an in-depth look at the stories that impact our community and welcoming engagement from everyone. Head to facebook.com/decibelatx to become a part of the conversation.

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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Press materials: https://www.radicalempathyfoundation.org/press-materials

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Location:Austin - Texas - United States
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