Episode 76: Rebecca’s Story: Trafficked into the Sex Industry, Persevering to Freedom, and Empowering Other Women

Rebecca Bender, Founder and CEO of the Rebecca Bender Initiative and Elevate Academy

Rebecca Bender is a survivor, speaker, podcast host, leader, innovator, author, and founder and CEO of the Rebecca Bender Initiative (RBI) and Elevate Academy. Rebecca is an award-winning social entrepreneur and nationally recognized expert on human trafficking. 

At 19 years old, Rebecca thought she found her fairytale when she moved to Las Vegas with her boyfriend, but her dream quickly became a nightmare when her boyfriend became her pimp. Trapped in a life of chaos, coerced into prostitution, abused and controlled by her trafficker, Rebecca was forced into sex trafficking for nearly six years. After many attempts to escape and several pimps later, Federal Investigators raided the home Rebecca was living in – which led to her eventual escape. 

After escaping nearly six years of modern-day slavery, Rebecca wrote her first book, Roadmap to Redemption,​ and founded the Rebecca Bender Intiative (RBI).​ RBI’s advanced trainings have equipped over 100,000 community professionals including the FBI, Homeland Security, local law enforcement, medical professionals​ and aftercare programs to provide expert testimony during trial and investigation, trainings and consultation.​ Rebecca serves as an advisor to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, the Presidential Candidacy Equality Model Coalition, and the Oregon Department of Justice.

Rebecca Bender, Founder and CEO of the Rebecca Bender Initiative and Elevate Academy
Rebecca Bender, Founder and CEO of the Rebecca Bender Initiative and Elevate Academy

In 2015, Rebecca realized that with the popularity of online classes, she could mentor online and created the first online school for trafficking survivors, merging tech and social justice. To date, over 644 survivors in 6 countries have received mentoring and professional development training. Rebecca now uses those courses to help teach all women how to use their story for a purpose through Elevate Academy

Rebecca lives with her husband and their four daughters in the Pacific Northwest. 

Rebecca, her husband, and their four daughters
Rebecca, her husband, and their four daughters

Rebecca joins the 1 Girl Revolution podcast to share her life story, she talks about how she was trafficked and her experiences throughout her six years in Las Vegas – and she shares how she found freedom, healing, and her purpose. Rebecca talks about her latest book, “In Pursuit of Love”, her work with Elevate Academy, the Rebecca Bender Initiative (RBI), and what she’s doing now to combat human trafficking in the U.S. and around the world. Rebecca dispels some of the myths about human trafficking and shares important information and details that we all need to know – and she shares what we can all do to bring an end to human trafficking in our world. 

This episode is so inspiring, educational, and powerful. We hope you’ll listen and share this episode!

For more information on Rebecca, the Rebecca Bender Initiative, and more, please visit Rebecca’s website

For more information on Elevate Academy, please visit the website.

For the Find Your Lane course Rebecca talks about in this episode, you can find it here.

In Pursuit of Love Rebecca Bender
In Pursuit of Love Rebecca Bender

You can find more information on Rebecca’s memoir, “In Pursuit of Love”, here

And to listen to a FREE excerpt of Rebecca’s audio book, please click here.

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Episode 201: Living and Learning Center – Rachelle Vartanian

This week’s episode of The 1 Girl Revolution Podcast features Rachelle Vartanian, founder of the Living and Learning Center – a nonprofit organization that works to enhance the lives of people with disabilities through therapeutic, social, work-based, and community engagement.

The 1 Girl Revolution Podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, YouTube, and everywhere you listen to podcasts.

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