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Rebecca Bender        

Sex Trafficking Survivor, Advocate & Author

Born with tenacity and an entrepreneurial spirit, Rebecca Bender believes that we are all more than the bad things that have happened in our lives. After escaping her trafficker in 2007, Bender was determined to make a new life for herself and her young daughter. She worked hard, eventually opening her own business and earning a Master’s degree. While she was attending college online, Bender dreamed of launching a school for survivors of human trafficking - a place where anyone with lived experience could enroll and learn the skills and knowledge necessary to build a new life. In 2014, Elevate Academy was born and within eight years had served nearly 1,000 students in 12 countries and nearly 508 U.S. cities across the nation. This innovative online school is thriving today and remains a place where survivors continue to connect, grow, and find tools to ignite their futures.

Bender is a CEO and a published author who has earned a distinct reputation as a trailblazer and thought leader in the field. Her specialized training has equipped well over 100,000 professionals including FBI, Homeland Security, local law enforcement, community leaders, medical professionals, and more. Bender was appointed to the United States National Advisory Council and serves as an advisor to Aequitas, A21, and the HSI North Texas Task Force. She assists as a subject matter expert for investigations and operations across the country, and is regularly called upon to testify as an expert witness. Bender is a highly sought-after speaker, consultant, and nationally recognized authority who is passionate about seeing people transform their lives so they can change the world. When she’s not traveling and leading her team, you’ll find her on the sidelines or in the audience cheering for her four daughters, listening to true-crime podcasts, or working on her next manuscript by the pool.

Speech Topics

Fundraising Keynote

Rebecca is able to take the goals and objectives of YOUR event and weave them with her own personal narrative and experience in a powerful way. Her story of trafficked to triumphant will inspire your attendees in a way that helps to ensure a successful event.

Leading from Resilience

Rebecca Bender knows the struggle of overcoming hardship firsthand. After enduring nearly six years of human trafficking at the hands of a notorious trafficker, Rebecca emerged as one the nation’s leading Survivor Advocates creating the largest online school in the world for survivors of trafficking, training over 115,000 professionals including FBI and Homeland Security, passing laws and advocating for survivors all around the world. But it did not come easy; still doesn’t. Roadblocks personally and professionally can set us all back in life, but Rebecca is proof that you can overcome anything with the right mindset and tools. Leave inspired as she shares a message of action we can all take, whenever life takes a turn and go after the future we dream of.

Roots of Resiliency

After enduring nearly six years of human trafficking, Rebecca emerged as one of the nation’s leading experts in human trafficking. Listen to her remarkable story where she gives insights to root causes and exit plans that assisted in recovery. Through the lens of a survivor, attendees will walk away with a better understanding of the issues of exploitation, why victims don’t run and have tools to build resiliency in others.

Illusion of Choice

After enduring nearly six years of human trafficking under the control of three different traffickers, Rebecca has developed invaluable intelligence on how crime families run their sex trafficking enterprises. Listen to her remarkable story and personal case study, where she gives a detailed account of house dynamics, rules of the game, physical and psychological control tactics, brainwashing, medical insight, and more. In this raw and transparent session, Rebecca welcomes all audience questions as she discusses why most victims deny the abuse and don’t attempt escape. Through the lens of a survivor, the audience will learn how to set aside stereotypes and assumptions in order to break through common investigative challenges.

Find Your Lane

After enduring nearly six years of human trafficking, Rebecca went back to help fight this crime with the insight and experience she gained from being on the inside. For over fifteen years Rebecca has done the work, trying her hand at every lane in the fight against human trafficking. Through humor and laughing at her own mistakes, you’ll be invited to explore how you too can get involved in any way in a variety of areas that you may be passionate about. Fighting Human Trafficking doesn’t have to be as overwhelming as it sounds and Rebecca will give you the blue print that aligns with your talent, skill and heart

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