The Center for Combating Human Trafficking (CCHT) is a team of survivor-leaders and long-term multidisciplinary professionals who represent more than ten decades of combined personal, direct practice, advocacy, and research expertise in the Runaway and Homeless Youth and Anti-Trafficking Movements. Together, we are committed to empowering the nation’s capacity to provide effective prevention, assessment, identification, intervention, restoration, and aftercare/prosperity promoting responses to young people who are survivors of the streets.
CCHT is unique in that we don’t just believe in “rescuing” victims but rather, respecting, empowering, and promoting prosperity among survivors. Towards this endeavor, we are proud to have a variety of partnerships, disciplines, and areas of expertise represented on our team. From across our own WSU campus to our local, regional, national, and international community partners, we rely on a variety of survivor-leaders, faith-leaders, staff, and faculty.
One of the only evidence-informed approaches for serving victims and survivors of abuse, exploitation, and trafficking, the Center for Combating Human Trafficking achieves its mission through 6 methods.
At the Center for Combating Human Trafficking, our focus goes beyond rescuing victims to directly address the underlying issues that create a context in which human trafficking can occur.
We believe in a strategy that targets the complex issue of human trafficking on multiple fronts. With the goal of effectively preventing, assessing, identifying, evaluating, and intervening in cases of human trafficking, as well as, assisting in the long-term integration and prosperity of survivors.
To find out more about what the Center for Combating Human Trafficking does and how to contract with us, please contact us.
The Lotus Anti-Trafficking Model™ is a comprehensive response model that is designed to honor the human capacity for resilience, vitality, and prosperity. Lotus™ is grounded in theory and research and can be utilized by multidisciplinary providers at all levels of practice. Lotus is copyrighted and trademarked information developed by Dr. Karen Countryman-Roswurm and staff at the Center for Combating Human Trafficking.
Lotus™ is a framework as well as numerous prevention, intervention, and prosperity promoting curricula, activities, and tools. The Lotus Model™ is the foundation of all programming and work at the Center for Combating Human Trafficking.
Karen serves as the Founder and Executive Director to the Wichita State University, Center for Combating Human Trafficking (CCHT). She is also a tenured Associate Professor in the School of Social Work at Wichita State University. Karen is a Licensed Master Social Worker and a Doctor of Psychology with nearly two decades serving marginalized children, youth, and families. Beginning her career at the Wichita Children's Home as a Street Outreach Worker, Karen has worked locally, regionally, and nationally as an individual, family, and group therapist; a founder and coordinator of youth programs; a researcher; a community organizer; and a human rights advocate. With a passion to better serve high-risk marginalized populations, Karen works to bridge the gap between direct practice, academia, research, and policy. Karen has been nationally and internationally recognized, receiving many honors and awards, for doing just that -- particularly for her specialization in working with homeless, runaway, and throwaway youth (HRTY) and young people who are at-risk of, or subjugated to, domestic minor sex trafficking (DMST) and other forms of exploitation.
Allison Farres is the Assistant Director at the Center for Combating Human Trafficking (CCHT). In her role, she manages the day to day operations of CCHT, ensuring all work is in line with the mission and vision of the Center. She is the initial point of contact for all CCHT services and serves as a Lotus Model™ trainer, researcher, and consultant.
Allison is a Licensed Master Social Work and also holds a Master’s degree in Public Health. Her work in the anti-violence field began in 2010 as a volunteer for the Air Force’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) program. Her experiences include working directly with survivors of various forms of violence and conducting research with vulnerable and survivor populations, and launching programs and public awareness campaigns. Allison assisted in launching the Oklahoma Start By Believing campaign in 2015 and CCHT’s Pathway to Prosperity™ program in 2017
Risa Rehmert is the Director of Program Development at the Wichita State University Center for Combating Human Trafficking (CCHT). Risa comes to CCHT with over 30 years of experience serving youth and families in crisis. Prior to joining CCHT, Risa was the Coordinator of the Street Outreach, Crossroads and Safe Place programs at the Wichita Children's Home. In this role she was responsible for coordinating services, program development, grant writing/reporting and oversight of daily operations. In January of 2012, she organized the opening of the O.Z. Drop-In Center in downtown Wichita for homeless, runaway, street and trafficked youth.
Risa serves on the National Training and Technical Assistance Center for Homeless and Runaway Youth (RHYTTAC) Advisory Board. She also served on the National Safe Place Advisory Board for 15 years. She is identified as a Subject Matter Expert for RHYTTAC and has provided trainings at the national, state and local level. Risa was born and raised in Kansas. She graduated from Friends University with a Bachelors in Human Services.
In addition to CCHT development and awareness activities, Risa develops and provides training, advocates for victims/survivors, and facilitates Lotus Prevention for ProsperityTM curriculum in schools, social service agencies and faith groups.
Robert Roswurm, is passionate about the advancement, growth and development of marginalized populations. He has over 20 years of involvement with youth-focused efforts including the Anti-Trafficking Movement. During his early years, Robert served runaway and homeless youth including trafficking victims and survivors as a street outreach worker. More recently he has focused his time in the areas of organizational advancement and development. Mr. Roswurm has been honored to receive awards for his efforts including, Champion of Respect from the Wichita Area Sexual Assault Center, Above and Beyond Award from the College of Health Professions at Wichita State University, and the 40 Under 40 Award from the Wichita Business Journal.
Tyra Miles is the Coordinator of Direct Services at the Wichita State University Center for Combating Human Trafficking (CCHT). At CCHT Tyra, an advocate for victims/survivors, is responsible for coordinating the Pathway to Prosperity™ programming for survivors and the Prevention for Prosperity™ curriculum with elementary-aged to high-aged youth in various settings.
Tyra has over 11 years of experience providing direct services with Survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking. In addition to personal experiences, Tyra’s knowledge stems from working as an advocate specializing in human trafficking services at a local safe house as well as providing case management services to run away and homeless youth. Along with providing direct survivor services, Tyra taught therapeutic art groups and financial life skill groups with survivors for numerous years.
Tyra attended Butler Community College and Wichita State University. She has a wide range of education as she received her bachelor degree in General Studies majoring in Psychology and minored in Sociology and Studio Art. She is also a Licensed Drug and Alcohol Counselor (LAC).
Kristen Powell serves as the Prosperity Coach at the Center for Combating Human Trafficking (CCHT). Kristen began her work at CCHT in March of 2016 after receiving her high school diploma at the age of 16. Since then, Kristen has worked to create survivor informed, survivor led services. In partnership with other staff, Kristen worked to develop Pathway to ProsperityTM programming for victims and survivors of human trafficking. This program has two goals: 1) facilitate holistic healing for survivors, and 2) provide opportunities for a network of connected survivor leaders. She draws on her passion and experience to advocate for victims and survivors and looks forward to using her life experiences to enhance the anti-trafficking movement.
Kalynn Cheyney is a licensed master social worker and serves as a Communication and Research Associate at CCHT. Kalynn has been involved in the anti-trafficking movement since 2016 working in various capacities including aiding in developing and facilitating the Lotus Prevention for Prosperity™ curriculum and developing the Shining Light on the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children: A Toolkit to Building Understanding. Currently, Kalynn’s primary focus is coordinating communication platforms for the purposes of educating the community and sharing how CCHT is achieving its mission to empower our nation’s capacity to effectively combat abuse, exploitation, and trafficking.
Kalynn received her Bachelor of Science in Family Studies and Human Services From Kansas State University as well as a minor in Leadership Studies with a Non-profit focus and a Master’s in Social Work from Wichita State University.