Who We Are
The Chester County Anti-Human Trafficking Coalition (CCAT) works to eliminate modern-day sex and labor slavery by increasing public awareness, advocating legislative action, supporting law enforcement, and offering referral services to victims and survivors.
Since its inception, CCAT has grown to include members from law enforcement agencies including the FBI and Homeland Security, social services organizations including The Salvation Army, Crime Victims’ Center of Chester County, Domestic Violence Center of Chester County, government agencies, faith-based organizations and concerned citizens.
CCAT is a member of an anti-human trafficking regional partnership which includes coalitions from Bucks, Berks, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, Philadelphia and Montgomery counties. The regional partnership was formed to share ideas, join forces, act regionally and provide information between the various coalitions.
After participating with the Philadelphia Coalition Against Human Trafficking; Dave L., Divisional Social Services Director for the Salvation Army of Eastern Pennsylvania and Delaware, and Liz H., at that time a social work graduate student at West Chester University, recognized a need for a similar organization in Chester County, Pennsylvania. Dave and Liz decided to establish a coalition and held its first meeting in September 2011 at The Salvation Army in West Chester.
Seven coalition meetings were held to develop and enhance strategic relationships between law enforcement, social services, faith-based communities, and concerned citizens. One member reported on the JUST conference she attended in Brazil. Another presented a TEDx Salon about human trafficking at a local event titled: "Believing the Sky is Purple: The Cost of Human Trafficking." One member developed and distributed PSA https://youtu.be/CZJgilGmRlA and continues to work to produce other PSAs to promote public awareness
January 21, 2016: TEDx Salon about human trafficking sponsored by and held at the West Chester Public Library, N. Church St., WC. TED video, talk by Carol Metzker, community conversation.
All day fundraiser at 10,000 Villages in Exton, PA.
October educational event titled "Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Teens: Addressing Human Trafficking Trauma Through Intervention and Prevention Reclaiming Lives Creating Hope." The event featured Dr. Whaley-Perkins, a practicing clinical psychologist in Philadelphia who has over 30 years’ experience helping adolescents and adults affected by long-term trauma. In Pennsylvania, she founded the Life After Trauma Organization (LATO), a non-profit dedicated to preventing human trafficking and helping adolescents and adults affected by trauma.
Training conducted at the Chester County Department of Children, Youth, and Families monthly staff meeting with approximately 70 participants.
Distributed flyers and offered volunteers for the Dress for a Good Cause fundraiser that contributes to local and international organizations supporting survivors.
To promote prevention through education CCAT participated in Phoenixville's monthly First Friday night outdoor community events. CCAT had a table with materials and volunteers to talk to residents about identification and prevention tools.
CCAT offered an evening training presentation aimed at informing participants in how to conduct outreach for the purpose of educating hotel and motel staff in our county about human trafficking identification and what to do if suspected. Later a training with a Chester county assistant district attorney and a social service agency was given at a local hotel.
A community legislative information event was held with speaker Shea Rhodes of the Villanova Institute to Address Commercial Sexual Exploitation. https://cseinstitute.org
June Art Exhibit: CCAT gave art supplies to residents of a Chester County shelter for vulnerable youth. Their art work and comments were displayed at the Chester County Art Association store in the Exton Square Mall.
January is National Human Trafficking Awareness and Prevention Month and CCAT communicated information to all coalition participants about the human trafficking educational events taking place in our area, including a youth sex trafficking prevention program, a candlelight vigil, a showing of "Not My Life", an educational event titled "Act 105 Explained", donations of items collected for Dawn’s Place, New Day Drop-in center, and Covenant House.
CCAT was invited to participate in 2 conference calls during the last week of January. One invitation came from the White House Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, the second invitation was from the Region 3 Task Force which includes the U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services, FBI, and the U.S. Dept. of Education. The second call included organizations addressing human trafficking in PA and several other states, such as Maryland, DC, & Virginia.
The Crime Victim’s center reported that the Mandatory Reporter Training that is distributed throughout Pennsylvania as a part of the professional continuing education units will now include a human trafficking component.
CCAT participated in the meetings leading up to the development of PA Allegiance Against Trafficking in Humans (PAATH). This group’s task is to promote the implementation of PA Act 105, the comprehensive anti-human trafficking legislation passed in September of 2014.
At CCAT meetings participants were taught to hone their observation skills through activities designed to help us take note of a person’s features and clothing for law enforcement reports.
CCAT Education, Faith-Based, and Survivor Services continued to work to educate Chester County about how to identify human trafficking and what to do if you are concerned about a person or situation in your community.
CCAT continued to distribute "Look Beneath the Surface" educational materials from the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services.
Created a Victim’s Emergency Fund to be used through social service agencies when government services have not yet become available to a survivor.
December 5: CCAT participated in the Lend a Hand event collecting a pick-up truck full of items such as mittens and hats, fleece blankets and hand warmers, new travel-size toiletries, and certain food items sponsored by ACE (anti-trafficking organization in Oxford, PA) at the Oxford Senior Center
CCAT’s Faith-based committee conducted a community prayer vigil at the Westminster Presbyterian church on 10/16/15 – “It was a beautiful evening of music and prayer that focused on various aspects of human trafficking and helping to end it.”- Faith-based committee chairperson
CCAT has provided anti-human trafficking literature and staffed several information tables at anti-human trafficking/anti-slavery events hosted by faith-based organizations, schools and community groups.
April - Several members of CCAT visited the New Day Women's Drop-In Center to learn more and to deliver donations for women who are victims of sex trafficking and exploited for commercial sex.
Carol Hart Metzker's September interview with Comcast Channel 21's John Ricciutti about Human Trafficking. The two segments are now available on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYfEqh-_MmQ&feature=youtu.be.
Participated in the September 16th Act 105 Celebration Press Conference in the Harrisburg Capitol Rotunda to thank all legislators for the unanimous passage of SB75. While further legislation needs to be passed in PA (for example, a Safe Harbor bill and a bill that curbs demand), the passage of Act 105 was cause for celebration. The press conference also touched upon implementation of the Act in such areas as 1) training of law enforment, 2) public awareness, and 3) coordination of victim services, among others. Implementation of the Act is critical in order for the Act to be effective in helping to combat human trafficking.
Held a Rolling for Freedom Bowling Fundraising Event on June 28th to support our mission.
CCAT provided anti-human trafficking literature and attended the May launch of the Chester County Human Trafficking Awareness Rotating Library Display which was developed by the generous donations of Alpha Kappa Alpha and the Chester County Library System with the support of Senator Andrew Dinniman.
Attended Senate Bill 75 press conference during Advocacy Day at the Capitol in Harrisburg, PA. Visited legislators to inform them about the need for anti-human trafficking legislation.
CCAT information table at a panel discussion on Human Trafficking featuring Senator Dinniman and Senator Greenleaf at the Chester County Historical Society.
Advocated for Senate Bill 75 during Lobby Day at the Capitol in Harrisburg, PA.
CCAT information table at Who’s Losing at the Superbowl? Help Stop Human Trafficking, held at the Phoenixville Library to raise community awareness.
CCAT information table at Facing the Monster: Slavery Then and Now, held at the Chester County Historical Society (CCHS), featuring Carol Hart Metzker, author of Facing the Monster; Laurie Rofini, CCHS Director of Archives and Records Services, and special guest speaker State Senator Andrew Dinniman.
CCAT West Chester University Film and Legislative Awareness Event, held at Sykes Theater, West Chester University, featuring the documentary Not for Sale. WCU students received credits for attending.
CCAT Professional Training for the Chester County Department of Children, Youth and Families, held at the Government Services Building during their monthly staff meeting and featuring a representative from the Chester County Crime Victims’ Center with approximately 60 staff in attendance.
CCAT information table at A Bipartisan Call to Action to End Human Trafficking, at the Chester County Historical Society, featuring Keynote Speakers: Pennsylvania Senator Stewart J. Greenleaf; Dr. Ellyn Jo Waller, First Lady of Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church, Philadelphia and International Leader in the movement to end human trafficking; Dr. Tonya Thames-Taylor, president, Coatesville NAACP; and Carol Hart Metzker, author and CCAT member with welcomes and introductions by Senator Andrew Dinniman and Senator LeAnna Washington.
CCAT information table at Dress for a Good Cause, at Westtown School to raise community awareness.
Professional Community Training targeting Social Service personnel and faith-based communities on Human Trafficking, held at the West Chester Government Services building, featuring excerpts from the documentary Sex and Money and the following speakers:
A Retired Agent from the US Department of Labor and Industry in Investigation of Smuggling and Trafficking
A Special Agent from the US Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Office of Investigations
Donna Sabella, Psychiatric Nurse, PhD., RN, Faculty, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, Director of Project Phoenix
Professional Training for Chester County Visiting Nurses, featuring Hugh Organ, Assistant Director, Covenant House of Pennsylvania and Coordinator of Philadelphia Anti-Human Trafficking Coalition.
Participated at the Rally in Harrisburg, PA to promote passage of the National Human Trafficking Hotline Posting Law, which was signed by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett on October 25, 2012.
Free Film and Panel Discussion, at Kremple’s Theater at Valley Forge Christian College, featuring the film documentary, Very Young Girls, and panel featuring FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) Victim Specialist and an ICE (Homeland Security: Immigration and Customs Enforcement) Special Agent.