| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |

Radical Empathy raising funds to put their interactive anti-trafficking education experience in a web browser

For my 55th birthday, I hope you'll consider contributing as a way to celebrate with me.

Hey everybody!!

I want to jump right into this, tell you why I care about human trafficking, and explain why I need your help now more than ever.

Children are innocent and vulnerable to being tricked. Adults take advantage of those vulnerabilities. It's wrong and I'm here to teach people it's happening right in front of their eyes.

Everywhere. (Yes, in America, and in your community.) 

I'm Billy Joe Cain and I have dedicated my life to preventing human trafficking through education at Radical Empathy Education Foundation (since 2016) and (since 2021).

I was working for a friend ten years ago and found out the hard way that he was a sex predator who molested children. I let this person into our family and learned he was grooming MY children to potentially abuse them. Luckily, our kids told us what was happening.

They explained that he was telling them what porn sites to visit and that he was telling them how to clean their genitals in great detail. (I'll stop there so this doesn't get taken down.)

Austin Police Department told us our children were being groomed by my friend / boss, who is a sex predator

The police told us he (my boss and “friend”) had a long record of abusing other children, but in EVERY case, he managed to get away with it. 

As if learning my children were being groomed wasn't enough, I lost my job (he was my boss and he fired me) AND didn't get paid.

We looked for anything that would help us understand how to keep our kids safe. What we found was less than inspiring. 

For 6 years, I've been to , symposiums, small and large workshops, and taken over 100 courses. I stay up to date and participate in multiple anti-trafficking coalitions. (I'm a member of the Prevention Workgroup of the Texas Human Trafficking Prevention Taskforce for the Office of the Attorney General of TexasCentral Texas Coalition Against Human Trafficking (CTCAHT), and the Tarrant County 5-Stones Taskforce.)

Contrary to what most people think, human trafficking isn't ONLY little children being used for sex.

And it's not “kids being kidnapped.”

Human trafficking is slavery. Full stop.

Human trafficking is everywhere, in everything. 

It's . It's child soldiers. It's child brides (in America!). It's (in America!). It's seafood processing. It's diamond mining. It's gold mining

It's in your food, the batteries in your phone, electronics, shoes, clothes, and it powers the economies of entire nations. It's inextricably tied to wealth extraction. It's the result of war. It's how people are blackmailed. It's about power and money. 

I had no idea the problem of human trafficking is bigger than anything else I could imagine.

You're reading this in a blog I put together with over 1300 articles (as of today) documenting some of the worst crimes imaginable.

This problem is so immense there is no single answer that's going to come from the top down

I kid you not, the UN only makes “recommendations,” and the United States continually makes it easier to make people into slaves through the visa system. Read more about that here.

What's the worst part? No one cares or they don't want to hear about it AND nothing that's being done is making a difference. We're losing this fight.

I'm here to tell you that the ONLY answer is to PREVENT it from happening, and the ONLY way that happens is through getting EDUCATED.

I've focused my efforts on prevention education, or what WE call PREVENTucation. 

PBJ Learning PREVENTucation "An ounce of PREVENTucation is worth a pound of cure."
Learn about PREVENTucation in the PBJ Learning Knowledge Vault

I've made some of the most IMPACTful tools in the world to help. 

In 2018, I released the FIRST interactive, experience that allows you to learn how a child can be psychologically manipulated into becoming a victim of human trafficking by taking advantage of their vulnerabilities. It's called TRAPPED: A VR Detective Story.

University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth. Room full of students using virtual reality headsets and TRAPPED: A VR Detective Story. UNTHSC.
University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth. Room full of students using virtual reality headsets and TRAPPED: A VR Detective Story. UNTHSC.

It is being used in middle schools, high schools, universities and colleges, and has taught thousands of students how this could happen to anyone. 

I could go on and on about it. I could tell you stories about how families come back to the events we attend and tell us how their lives were changed. How they quit their 2nd and 3rd jobs. How they, as groups and individuals, went into therapy. How they now know their children's friends and actually spend time with them. I could tell you about my friends that actually discovered that they, themselves, were trafficked in different ways throughout their lives. 

This interactive experience is truly impactful, but there's one HUGE problem. You have to have a virtual reality headset to experience it. 

Virtual reality headset used to educate people about human trafficking: Oculus / Meta Quest headset
Not everyone has a VR headset - but lots of people DO have access to the internet

This is where YOU come in. 

I am making this interactive experience available to the world through a web browser. With YOUR HELP, I can get it done quicker. 

Let me start off by saying that I don't want to “just make it work.” I want to completely adapt it so it takes advantage of the medium of the internet. VR is great for immersion. The internet is great for ACCESS TO INFORMATION. 

TRAPPED: An Online Detective Story uses the same core “story,” but users are given CURATED contextual information that matches up with the story experience. In VR, you encounter a cell phone and Lisa explains how she can't call the police for help because her trafficker has threatened to hurt her family and friends. IMMERSION is vital in VR, so we let you stay “in” the story. This builds EMPATHY for victims.

But in the online experience, you can “go deeper.” You have immediate access to VIDEOS of SURVIVORS who explain exactly what it means to have a cell phone with them. You have access to blogs that explain why victims carry burner phones. You have MORE information with more DEPTH brought to you in the way that people learn: at the point they are INTERESTED in the material.

This version will be provided for to users across the world. 

We will also provide a PREMIUM version to expand the program. Premium users will have access to CURATED materials that match their login role. Parents, kids, law enforcement, workers, code enforcement, and other groups receive information relevant to them. 

Premium content means we can make the basic experience free to the general public. Running this service isn't free; so why not ask those that can afford job-specific training to help those that need a general understanding of the issue?

This online experience is done to the highest production standards I can manage and each milestone stands on its own. 

Your help gets us to the first milestone: Minimum Viable Product (MVP). 

The MVP for TRAPPED: An Online Detective Story is playable online through a web browser.

Further milestones include building out the entire job training system, new and licensed content, hiring survivors to create video materials, and building and maintaining a team to keep it all running. 

This is, ultimately, going to employ a full team and save lives across the world. 

We are using a FREEMIUM model so if it's successful, we won't have to beg for money anymore. 

I am dead serious about my mission and I deliver products that work.

Find a detailed look at recent PBJ Learning and Radical Empathy accomplishments here

1904 Cedar Ridge Drive, Austin, Texas 78741
Billy's family sold their Austin home to make Radical Empathy's vision happen

Here's a look at 6 years of accomplishments:

  • Jacque and I sold our house to do this
  • Over the course of 2 years of research and development, built and released TRAPPED for multiple VR headsets
  • Successfully ran VR impact events across America for thousands of people
  • Met my education director, Dr. David Deeds, through his YouTube channel, HumanTraffickingHater. He has over 100,000 views.
  • Dave and I created PBJ Learning to provide online, interactive, . Visit us at PBJLEARNING.COM
  • Dave started a TikTok this year that has over 430,000 views and over 2300 subscribers
  • Started a Knowledge Vault with over 13 hundred curated articles and from around the world
  • Done hundreds of podcasts, interviews, radio, and TV appearances 

Here's the ask: please support Radical Empathy's effort to bring this LIFE SAVING EDUCATION to the public. 

If you can, PLEASE set up a recurring monthly donation. 

Click reefcares.org/donate. Choose “MAKE THIS A MONTHLY DONATION.” Give generously.

Let's change the world together.

Billy Joe Cain's signature

512.521.8874 – call or text and ask me anything!

PS If you'd like to follow along with the story of the fundraiser, come along with us on the Facebook fundraiser itself

Click the picture OR go to https://reefcares.org/donate. Choose "MAKE THIS A MONTHLY DONATION." Give generously.
Click the picture or visit http://facebook.com/donate/1114260412860835/

Learn more about how I got here, why I'm doing this, and how and why the virtual reality program works in the videos below.

We are honored PBS did a fantastic special on Radical Empathy

Why and how I built the Virtual Reality experience, TRAPPED: A VR Detective Story. A fantastic special piece we are very proud to be part of.

Watch the entire story from the virtual reality application, TRAPPED: A VR Detective Story, from launch to completion

This is a complete walkthrough of the Virtual Reality experience, TRAPPED: A VR Detective Story. Learn the entire story, hear all the audio, and see all there is to see. 

Houston Police Human Trafficking Unit Lieutenant gives her opinion on our virtual reality training experience

Lieutenant Merritt offers her assessment. 

NBC San Diego takes a look at how students learn in virtual reality

So proud to be on NBC 7 San Diego

FOX helps get the word out at South by Southwest (SXSW)

That's before we shortened our web address. 

Virtual reality makes vulnerabilities obvious and experiential

A perfect explanation of how childhood vulnerabilities can make someone more likely to be trafficked.

What is grooming? Watch a very realistic portrayal of how it happens.

This movie is amazing. This video is an example of one of the reviews of human trafficking resources you'll find on the Knowledge Vault.