In our hometown of Racine, Wisconsin, the fight against human trafficking begins with the Racine Dominicans who have a long history of social justice leadership in the community. In 2012, they launched an aggressive campaign to bring awareness to the issue, and Racine Area Police Department (RAPD) was quick to partner with them.
What began as small community gatherings rapidly evolved into a county-wide movement to end trafficking and exploitation. Out of these gatherings, Racine Coalition Against Human Trafficking (RCAHT) was developed as well as a strategic partnership with RAPD through Chief Art Howell’s leadership. Human trafficking advocates were trained and participated in the annual FBI Operation Cross Country, the federal initiative to recover juvenile victims of sex trafficking in 2014, 2015, and 2016.
RCAHT became a 501(c)(3) in 2015 and grew with the support of an initial $25,000 operations support grant from Racine Community Foundation. From 2012-2015, we helped over 150 victims locally, trained advocates who assisted 56 victims in 2016 alone, educated over 2,000 educational presentation attendees, and brought human trafficking awareness to approximately 12,000 community members in Wisconsin and beyond.
In February 2017, RCAHT announced that the organization’s name would be changing to Fight to End Exploitation (FEE) in order to better acknowledge our work throughout the entire southeast region of Wisconsin, not just Racine County. The change also reflected our partnerships with statewide and national anti-trafficking organizations. We are thankful that Racine is our home and that the community keeps us grounded in our fight to end exploitation.
We believe that the fight to end exploitation must be approached collaboratively through community awareness, multidisciplinary intervention, and holistic restoration. We work with a range of agencies such as law enforcement, juvenile, and domestic abuse shelters, aftercare facilities, human services, child advocacy centers, sexual assault services, SANE nurses, counselors, hospitals, USAO, legal advocates, school districts, and faith-based organizations among many others in order to provide the best possible support to our advocacy clients.