Uprising's Terri Markham explains how she uses TRAPPED: A VR Detective Story to train everyone from children to legislators using an interactive virtual reality experience
We caught up with her recently to hear about her experience using this incredible, award-winning training tool, and find out how it has affected everyone she has trained with it.
Radical Empathy's VR software, TRAPPED: A VR Detective Story, is only available through a direct licensing agreement, and operates on affordable Oculus Quest VR headsets licensees purchase themselves. Contact Billy Joe Cain [email protected] for more information.
Learn how Terri has helped people empathize through this VR experience
Video transcript (with links for details)
“Hello, I'm Terri Markham, executive director of Uprising, a Wyoming based anti-human trafficking non-profit.
I am hopping on this video real quick to spend a couple minutes to tell you about our experience so far working with Radical Empathy and Billy Joe Cain, utilizing his virtual reality experience (TRAPPED: A VR Detective Story).
We got access to the technology [through Radical Empathy Education Foundation], and our original intent was really just to bring a immersive unique experience to our regional human trafficking conference, called the Greater Rockies Immersive Training Conference, or GRIT.”
More about GRIT Conference here
“The very first time that I met Billy Joe and tried [the VR training experience], I knew that it was going to be a really unique way to show people one way that human trafficking could look like.
I know when I experienced it, and when my family members who were with me experienced it, it did elicit that empathy response. It is something that you cannot simply teach, so I knew that I wanted to get this technology and try it out at our conference.
[For GRIT,] we actually built a whole “case study” around Lisa, who is the victim featured in the VR experience. Our attendees had a lot of positive feedback about that experience.
They really enjoyed getting to actually “step into the shoes” of this case they had been learning about throughout their conference experience. It was a really unique thing out of our conference!
Three [anti-trafficking organizations] who tried the VR at GRIT are now working directly with Billy Joe themselves to get the VR in their communities.”
These groups are getting VR training into their communities after seeing it at the Greater Rockies Immersive Training (GRIT) Conference!
“Having this technology, we didn't want to only use it at a one-time event.
We have been using it a lot.
We use it the most, probably, with youth. We have found that it is an incredible tool.
We take it with us into schools and to youth events for youth to try. Every time we put that on the head of a youth, we have a download afterwards where they get to tell us or write out how they felt felt during that experience and what takeaways they had.”
“We hear all kinds of amazing feedback.
We hear things about people who felt scared. They felt worried for Lisa and they felt anxious that her trafficker was going to walk in on them.
We have kids who tell us now they want to be more careful with their social media or they want to delete their Snapchat after experiencing Lisa[‘s interactive story], because it wasn't even in their mind that they could be exploited in that way.
So it's been a really effective tool.
We've used it with hundreds of youth.
I think we're getting close to about 500 people that we have put the headsets on.
[Uprising Wyoming has] purchased five headsets, and I think our biggest challenge with the VR is actually that we need more of it!
When we take it into a school you know we want to put it on as many heads as possible, which means we're going to need to invest in more headsets soon. It's something that we are looking at doing because we have found so much value in it.”
“Not only has it been great for the professionals at our conference and for youth, but we also just use it at community events for anyone from our average community member to a legislator to a law enforcement officer to a victim advocate.
I've had all kinds of people try it and overwhelmingly the feedback is extremely positive!
I cannot recommend it enough!
I think it is something that's just really unique.
It's just another tool in the tool belt. For youth especially, [it's great to have] some something so technology-driven. It's funny because VR is is a space that can be really dangerous for youth, we know, but taking a piece of that back and claiming it for good and for our purposes, I think is really cool.
If you ever have questions, you can always send me a message and I'd be happy to answer any questions about our experience with it.
Radical Empathy demonstrated their Virtual Reality experience, TRAPPED: A VR Detective Story, at A 2nd Cup, in Houston Texas. Houston Police Human Trafficking Unit Lieutenant Angela M. Merritt spent a few minutes describing how ONE GENERATION™ can help open adult minds to this epidemic. (Turn on captions!)
Uprising isn't just an organization, it is a movement. We believe that exploitation of even one person is too much and we're working tirelessly to shine a light on how this is happening, even in Wyoming. Working with other individuals, groups, and organizations we can create more awareness surrounding human trafficking and exploitation and expand prevention education efforts. Together we can help ensure our communities are the safest possible. Visit them at uprisingwyo.org/
ABOUT RADICAL EMPATHY EDUCATION FOUNDATION
Radical Empathy is an Austin-based nonprofit dedicated to ending human trafficking. Their VR experiences include fully interactive, computer generated environments married with narrative, user-directed stories. Visit them at reefcares.org or you can help immediately here.
Radical Empathy's VR software, TRAPPED: A VR Detective Story, is only available through a direct licensing agreement, and operates on affordable Oculus Quest VR headsets licensees purchase themselves.
Billy Joe Cain | Radical Empathy Education Foundation