VIDEO: The El Paso County Department of Human Services hosted an event at Centennial Hall on April 18, 2018, to share information and resources about child trafficking.

More than 100 people attended an education and prevention event focused on child trafficking on Wednesday, April 18, at Centennial Hall.

The El Paso County Department of Human Services hosted the event to share information and resources. Child trafficking is happening in our community, and awareness and knowledge are important tools in prevention and response.

The event included a 20-minute film that tells the true story of two all-American teenage girls deceived into trafficking. Eighteen- year-old Brianna was an honor-roll student and cheerleader and worked at a local café. Thirteen-year-old Lacy was an active member of her youth group, and a volunteer in her community.

Panelists included 4th Judicial District Attorney Dan May; Kelly Dore, a trafficking survivor and advocate; Sunshyne Powell, Department of Human Services; Carolyn VanderWerf, a Youth Advocate; and a representative from the FBI.

Panelists spoke about the ongoing efforts in the region to combat trafficking. They also touched upon some signs of possible trafficking, and what young people and parents could do to help in such situations.

After the film and discussion, many of those who attended went outside for a youth-led candlelight vigil to honor trafficking victims.

The discussion portion of the event can be viewed online at the County’s YouTube Channel:

Those interested in seeing the film “Chosen” can contact the Shared Hope International at Chosen – The True Story of America’s Trafficked Teens at

Phone numbers for help:

  • Colorado Child Abuse/Neglect Reporting Hotline: 1-844-CO-4-KIDS (1-844-264-5437)
  • Colorado Network to End Human Trafficking (CoNEHT) Hotline: 1-866-455-5075
  • National Human Trafficking Hotline: 1-888-3737-888
  • To get help for victims and survivors of human trafficking: Text INFO or HELP to BeFree (233733)

The Department of Human Services is grateful for the assistance and donations from event sponsors:

  • Outreach Committee & Human Trafficking Working Group of Chapel of Our Saviour
  • Chapel of Our Saviour
  • Starbucks (1760 East Cheyenne Mountain Blvd.)

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, a month to highlight efforts to prevent child abuse and neglect. The long-term effects of child abuse and neglect are felt by our whole community, and need to be addressed by the entire community.