Human trafficking survivor Rebecca Bender to speak in downtown Bakersfield

Profile image of Rebecca Bender pulled from a press kit on her website,

Estefany Henriquez, Reporter

 Human trafficking is a worldwide multibillion-dollar industry and a crime. Human beings, including children, are being sold and treated as possessions to be controlled, and commonly forced into prostitution.  

  Rebecca Bender is a world-renowned author, speaker, and human trafficking survivor. Bender will be coming to Bakersfield to speak on and bring awareness to human trafficking so others can learn how this issue is affecting our community. 

  Bender is the founder and CEO of the Rebecca Initiative. Not only is she an award-winning social entrepreneur, she is a nationally recognized expert on human trafficking.  

  Kern Coalition Against Human Trafficking is hosting this event. Their main goal is to facilitate a comprehensive approach to combatting human trafficking in Kern County through prevention, protection, prosecution, and partnerships. The coalition members are aiming to provide victim services, as well as raise public awareness through events and media. KCAHT also works to provide prevention services to vulnerable communities, and to consistently perform community outreach.  

  The event will take place Thursday Feb. 13 at 6 p.m. at the Maya Cinemas and is free to the public. Online registration for general admission is sold out, but there will be limited seats available at the door. The KCAHT website ( offers online resources to get involved against human trafficking, as well as a calendar of various upcoming events.