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Characters Unite Award Winners

Tina Frundt

WASHINGTON, D.C.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR/FOUNDER, COURTNEY'S HOUSE

Tina Frundt has been actively raising awareness of the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) since 2000. A high profile national advocate on the issue of domestic sex trafficking and a survivor of CSEC, Tina is relentless in her fight to protect children from sexual exploitation and the devastation that comes from it.

As a child, Tina moved through more than 20 foster homes before being adopted by a loving family at age 12. She was a normal teen, insecure and vulnerable when she was approached on the street in her Chicago neighborhood at age 13 by a charming older man 15 years her senior, who promised friendship and love. Like many others victimized by this crime, Tina had no idea about the underworld of sex trafficking or what danger signs to look out for. On her 14th birthday, she accepted a car ride from the older man she thought she could trust and ended up trafficked to Cleveland, OH. After many years, Tina was finally able to free herself and begin her life mission of helping other victimized children.

In 2008, Tina founded Courtney's House. Although named after her younger daughter, Tina also selected the name "Courtney's Place," so that when victims of sex trafficking talk about the services it sounds like a friend's house or a location they don’t need to explain. Today, Courtney's House provides direct services for domestic sex trafficked youth, ages 12-21, male, female, LGBTQ, in the Washington, D.C. metro area. The organization fearlessly searches for children who are being forced into prostitution on the streets, inside homes and businesses or online, and then brings children into a drop-in center where they and their families can heal, recover and develop hopeful, dignified and influential lives. The organization also trains community officials and creates awareness of the reality of sex trafficking in neighborhoods across America to help stop the crimes from happening. Since its inception, Tina and Courtney's House have helped over 500 victims escape from being trafficked. Courtney's House will soon be opening Shae's Place, a group home that will be a 6-bed long-term home for sex trafficked girls between the ages of 12 and 18 years – the only one of its kind in the Washington, D.C. area to cater specifically to this vital population segment.

Tina has been featured on numerous national shows and publications, including the OWN Network's "Our America with Lisa Ling: 3AM Girls," which featured an undercover look into sex trafficking in Washington, DC, the CNN Freedom Project, and Redbook Magazine. In 2010, she became the first U.S. citizen to receive the Free the Slaves Freedom Awards-Frederick Douglas Award, which recognizes survivors of sex trafficking who use their life in freedom to help others. In 2012, she was honored with the Norma Hotaling Survivor-Centered Service Provider Award.

Tina trains law enforcement and other non-profit groups to rescue and provide resources to victims, and is also a member of the Washington, D.C. Anti-Trafficking Task Force. She has testified before the U.S. Congress about her own experiences and the need for greater protection and services for trafficked persons.

Tina Frundt (Image to come)