The Next Step: The California Cybersecurity Institute’s Anti-Trafficking Virtual Reality Immersion Training


  • Danielle Borrelli
  • Benjamin Thomas Greer



Digital gaming and virtual learning platforms have expanded the boundaries of experiential based anti-trafficking training. Virtual reality provides a technological mechanism for immersive storytelling through the simulation of a physical presence within an artefact using software and specialised hardware. The success of virtual-based immersive training is directly dependent on a series of factors, including realism, re-playability, and supplemental in-person training. This article describes the California Cybersecurity Institute’s anti-trafficking immersion training programme, which advances beyond awareness education to test law enforcement and first responder-specific skills and biases. This multi-layered programme looks to incorporate all concepts of ‘serious gaming’ within law enforcement and humanitarian communication.


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Author Biographies

Danielle Borrelli

Danielle Borrelli, MPP is the Operations Coordinator at the California Cybersecurity Institute (CCI) and the Program Lead for the Trafficking Investigations Hub (TIH). She develops and delivers training and technical resources that address the role of technology in recruiting and exploiting victims of human trafficking. In addition, Danielle serves on the San Luis Obispo (SLO) County’s District Attorney’s Human Trafficking Task Force and has helped start and consulted on the development and sustainability of four separate housing programmes for trafficked persons. Email:

Benjamin Thomas Greer

Benjamin Thomas Greer, J.D. is a subject matter expert in human trafficking and exploitation for the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES), instructing and developing trafficking courses for law enforcement and emergency management personnel. Before joining Cal OES, he served as a Special Deputy Attorney General for the California Department of Justice and helped deliver a comprehensive report entitled The State of Human Trafficking in California 2012. Aside from his work with Cal OES, he is currently attending the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Homeland Defense and Security and is a Research Associate for the University of Cambridge’s Centre for Applied Research in Human Trafficking (CCARHT).




How to Cite

Borrelli, D., & Greer, B. T. (2021). The Next Step: The California Cybersecurity Institute’s Anti-Trafficking Virtual Reality Immersion Training. Anti-Trafficking Review, (17), 154–160.