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Human Trafficking Awareness & Prevention Committee (HTAP)

Committee members serve the community by volunteering and supporting organizations who provide services to at-risk youth and victims of human trafficking. Working in collaboration with these organizations , we help raise public awareness through education and advocacy .

Some of the groups HTAP partners with include: the Office of the State Attorney, Katherine Fernandez Rundle; The South Florida Human Trafficking Task Force; The Coconut Grove Drug Free Coalition; The Thelma Gibson Health Initiative; The Children’s Trust; White Tiger & Dragon Martial Arts and Camillus House.

We proudly support: The Glory House of Miami; Embrace; Lotus House; Urban Promise; Casa Valentina; M.U.J.E.R.; Kristi House Project Gold and the St. James Baptist Church of Coconut Grove Summer Camp for Kids.

Members of HTAP remain informed and updated on human trafficking issues through various continuing educational opportunities provided by experts in health and human services, law enforcement, health care providers, and most importantly, by trafficking survivors themselves.

  WHAT IS HUMAN TRAFFICKING?

Human trafficking is transporting, soliciting, recruiting, harboring, providing, or obtaining of another person for forced labor, debt bondage, or sexual exploitation using force, fraud or coercion. In the state of Florida for children under the age of 18, it is not necessary to prove sex trafficking has occurred because the victim is below the age of consent.

The buying and selling of human beings into the sex trade or labor market is the fastest growing crime in the world second only to drug trafficking.

There are 25 million victims of human slavery globally, with 1.5 million in the U.S. Sex  trafficking is the most common and lucrative form of exploitation.

Florida ranks #3 in the nation for trafficking, and Miami is the #1 city in the state. Texas and California rank #1 and #2 in the nation.

In the U.S., 85% of sex trafficking victims are U.S. citizens. Of that, 80% are women and girls, and 50% are minors.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Children as young as 11 years old are being sex trafficked in Miami. The most desired age for victim is between 11 and 15 and younger.
  • 68% of trafficked minors in Miami are local  children.
  • The average sex trafficking victim may be forced to have sex up to 20 or more times a day, 7 days a week a week.
  • 1 in 7 children run away before the age of 18, and on any given day in Florida we have 30,000 to 40,000 runaways and homeless kids on the street.
  • Within 48 hours of leaving home, 1 in 3 runaways is exploited for sex trafficking and/or pornography.
  • 1 in 7 men in Miami have purchased a minor for sex.
  • A common form of recruitment is over the internet. Extensive use of chat rooms, gaming sites and social media is used to target victims arrange buyers and evade police.
  • LGBTQI+ are the most endangered group of kids. Often rejected by family, friends, society at large, bullied and violated. Most at risk group as they often find themselves homeless and destitute.

LOOK FOR RED FLAGS

  • may be easily startled, agitated, nervous or afraid; avoid eye contact
  • unsure of where they are
  • unexplained hotel use
  • accompanied by a suspicious person
  • children dressed up to look older than they are
  • lack of official ID
  • unexplained possessions, gifts, jewelry, cell phones
  • showing signs of physical abuse, bruises, broken bones, burns or scarring
  • vague and inconsistent stories about activities and/or whereabouts
  • a controlling boyfriend of relationship
  • may have strange markings, brandings or tattoos (name money sign or barcode)
  • marked changes in behavior or speech
  • hidden phone or computer communications
  • an online presence indicating possible sexual activity
  • chronically running away from home
  • unexplained absences from school
  • exposure to pornography, 93% of boys and 62% of girls have seen pornography during adolescence, which is typically viewed on cell phones

  IF YOU SEE SOMETHING-SAY SOMETHING

HUMAN TRAFFICKING HOTLINES

IN MIAMI TEXT OR CALL: 305FIXSTOP

NATIONAL USA TEXT: BEFREE (233733) OR CALL 1-888-373-7888

HTAP meets on the last Tuesday of the month at 4 pm at the WCCG club house at 2985 South Bayshore Drive in Coconut Grove. Please note regular meetings have been temporarily suspended due to Covid19.
Our committee is funded by donations, and your support is greatly appreciated. Your donation can be processed by PayPal. Thank you,

For more information, or if you wish to join our committee, please contact the  co-chairs:

Agnes Morrell                                  Sylvia Heller
agnesmorrell@hotmail.com         sheller@bmi.net
305-281-6715                                   208-451-4434

UPCOMING EVENTS:
January 7, 2021 @ 1 p.m. a Zoom presentation on human trafficking will be available. Further detail TBA.

FOR A FULL LIST OF SIGNS AND MORE INFORMATION VISIT:
www.itsapenality.org                               www.selahfreedon.com
www.inourbackyard.org                   www.savingjane.org
www.miamisao.com (click on Services then Human Trafficking)

SUGGESTED READING

In Our Backyard by Nita Belles
Stolen by survivor Katrina Rosenblatt, Ph.D
Groomed by Elizabeth Melendez Fisher Good

Video: LEAVING THE LIFE by JoNell Potter,
Professor of Clinical Obstetrics & Gynecologist
University of Miami Miller School of Medicine