Episode 1: Sex Trafficking in Central Texas

Our first Civil Society takes on a dark and sometimes difficult subject to talk about: Sex Trafficking in Central Texas.  It’s a real problem in many cities across the country including right here in Austin.  In fact, a recent study published by the University of Texas Austin states that there a 79,000 youth and minor victims of sex trafficking in Texas alone.  This episode sheds light on some of the people and organizations here in central Texas who are working toward real solutions to this injustice.

If you believe you’re a victim of sex trafficking or know someone who is and need immediate help please dial (888) 373-7888 and the National Human Trafficking Resource Center will find you local assistance. Or you can text “HELP” or “INFO” to the number 233733 for discreet help. humantraffickinghotline.org

Our Guests:

Brooke Crowder

Brooke Crowder

Founder/The Refuge for DMST

Sandra Molinari

Sandra Molinari

Sandra Molinari, Community Education Director, SAFE - a merger between Austin Children’s Shelter and SafePlace

Toni McKinley, M.A., LPC

Toni McKinley, M.A., LPC

Director of Therapeutic Services, The Refuge Ranch


Helpful Links and Resources
Brooke Crowder - Bio
MISSION: To build a place of rest and restoration for child survivors of sex trafficking.

Brooke Crowder:

Brooke serves as the Founder and Executive Director for The Refuge for DMST. Her career in nonprofit leadership and management has spanned over 20 years with various large churches and organizations, including: Communications Director at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Charlottesville, VA; Area Director of Young Life in Kerrville, TX; Director at the H.E. Butt Foundation, and Director of Women’s Ministries at The Woodlands United Methodist Church. Brooke lived and worked in Costa Rica for four years working with girls who were trafficked and exploited through sex tourism. During her time in Latin America, Brooke served on the U.S. Board of Directors for Oasis International. Because of her work with exploited children, Brooke often speaks to community groups, churches, universities, and seminaries on the topic of child sex trafficking.

Brooke received a Masters of Arts in Intercultural Studies and World Mission from Asbury Theological Seminary and holds a B.A. in Communications from Baylor University. She has a Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership and Management from Austin Community College.

Brooke and her husband, Calvin, have 4 children, and are actively involved in the Austin community with several charitable organizations.

Sandra Molinari - Bio

Mission: To lead in ending sexual assault and exploitation, child abuse, and domestic violence through prevention, intervention, and advocacy for change.

Sandra Molinari has 17 years of experience in the social services field, and is currently Director of Community Education at SAFE (Stop Abuse for Everyone), a merger of Austin Children’s Shelter and SafePlace.

She has 14 years of experience in training and program management, and has led hundreds of empowerment workshops for domestic and sexual violence survivors. She has developed and conducted culturally-responsive gender-based violence awareness trainings for professionals in the United States and Latin America.

Ms. Molinari has a B.A. in International Relations from San Francisco State University and an M.A. in International History and Politics from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland. She is also a proud Alumnus of the Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership & Management Program of ACC’s Center for Nonprofit Studies.

Toni McKinley, M.A., LPC - Bio
MISSION: To build a place of rest and restoration for child survivors of sex trafficking.

​Toni McKinley, M.A., LPC:

Toni McKinley is the Director of Therapeutic Services at the Refuge. She is a a survivor who has dedicated her life’s work to helping other survivors of trafficking find healing and restoration. ​