Convenience Stores Against Trafficking (CSAT) is a program of In Our Backyard, a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit known for its anti-trafficking work surrounding the past eight Super Bowls and for the critically acclaimed book by Founder and Executive Director Nita Belles: In Our Backyard: Human Trafficking in America and What We Can Do to Stop It . In Our Backyard Freedom Stickers are in all 50 states, providing a pathway to freedom for victims of human trafficking.
CSAT equips the convenience store industry to take a stand against the atrocity of human trafficking in America through no-cost training, victim outreach materials, and public awareness of human trafficking. CSAT has partnerships in 22 states, representing more than 8,000 locations. The program is featured in the NACS Community Toolkit.
Click here for more information on CSAT.
Click here for more information on CSAT.
Employee Training to recognize the signs of human trafficking and safely report to the National Human Trafficking Hotline. Includes durable printed materials for in-store use and a short, engaging video.
Victim Outreach through Freedom Stickers, containing the National Human Trafficking Hotline, placed in c-store restrooms – the safest place for a victim to reach out for help.
Public Awareness and a message to customers that “We’re not just convenient, we care” via register cards.
Improves Employee Safety: Traffickers not only exploit people, they also exploit locations. CSAT equips employees to respond appropriately and safely.
Improves Store Safety: CSAT deters traffickers because they see that you have taken a stand against human trafficking.
Industry-specific & Customizeable: CSAT materials were developed through extensive industry research to ensure alignment with industry operations. Materials can be adapted to suit your unique business needs.
Simple & No-cost: CSAT provides materials pre-packaged for each store and sends them to your corporate office at no charge.
Supports Your Local Community: Human trafficking is happening in your community and you can protect local youth and vulnerable populations with CSAT.
- C-stores serve half the U.S. population daily, usually have public restrooms, are open long hours, and offer convenience through more than 150,000 locations.
- The industry has a unique opportunity to help victims of human trafficking.
- Traffickers may bring victims to c-stores to purchase food, fuel, cigarettes, and condoms, or to clean up in the restroom.
- Human Trafficking happens 365 days a year in every zip code in America.
What is Human Trafficking?
Human Trafficking involves the use of force, fraud or coercion to obtain some type of labor or paid sex act.
If a victim is under the age of 18, then any paid sex act is considered human trafficking.
Victims often do not realize that they are being trafficked or that help is available because of the manipulation, fear tactics and lies that the trafficker uses.
CSAT Launch Event Garners High-Level Support
In conjunction with annual anti-trafficking efforts surrounding the Super Bowl, In Our Backyard held a launch event for CSAT on January 28, 2017 in Houston, TX. Regional support for the event included. Dan Harris, Captain over Vice, Houston Police Department; SSA Al Trible, FBI; Misa Nguyen, Program Director United Against Human Trafficking Houston, and Sherali Haiderali and Ahmed Hasora of the Greater Houston Retailers Association (GHRA). You can read more about the launch and support of GHRA in NACS Daily.
“As a leader in our industry, The Greater Houston Retailers Cooperative Association, Inc. (GHRA) cares a great deal about the communities it serves. With nearly 2,000 GHRA member stores across the greater Houston area, we are able to play a vital role in raising awareness and reaching out to potential victims of human trafficking. GHRA is proud to participate in the Convenience Stores Against Trafficking initiative to promote safety and support for our communities.”
– Mike Thompson, CEO, Greater Houston Retailers Cooperative Association, Inc.
“I feel that the Convenience Stores Against Trafficking initiative has made our store a safer environment. Traffickers don’t want to come in because they know we have taken a stand against human trafficking.”
– Kent Couch, Owner Stop and Go Mini Mart and Growler Guys
“Polaris supports In Our Backyard’s new Convenience Stores Against Trafficking (CSAT) program. Similar to the Truckers Against Trafficking industry model, through training on human trafficking indicators and Freedom Stickers with the National Human Trafficking Hotline, CSAT is empowering an industry that serves half of the U.S. population daily to help stop human trafficking in their communities. Engaging new industries in the fight against trafficking is a critical step toward ending this crime and we appreciate CSAT’s leadership in this effort.”
– Jenna Novak, Strategic Engagement Advisor, Polaris
“The Convenience Stores Against Trafficking project helps educate convenience store owners about trafficking and how they can help. Convenience store owners can enable countless victims to access the assistance they need. I wholeheartedly applaud the work that In Our Backyard has done to combat the scourge of human trafficking in our nation.”
– Congressman Ted Poe
“TAT is excited to see CSAT embark on their critical mission to unite all convenience store workers in combating human trafficking and believe their work has the potential to recover many victims, while closing loopholes traffickers are currently exploiting.”
– Kendis Paris, Executive Director, Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT)
“I applaud Convenience Stores Against Trafficking for their commitment to join forces with the growing number of businesses and organizations combatting this issue. They, like the National Runaway Safeline, are on the frontlines, in a great position to offer a lifeline to help and support.”
– Maureen Blaha, Executive Director, National Runaway Safeline
“Even one person’s efforts can help save a child. We urge everyone to be apart of the solution by reporting it if they see something suspicious. Together we can show traffickers that their crimes will not be tolerated and show these vulnerable children that someone cares.”
– John Clark, CEO National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
For info or to join, contact:
Juliana Williams, CSAT Program Manager
CSAT is a program of national 501c3 nonprofit, In Our Backyard, and relies on donations and sponsorships.