For Immediate Release
January 22, 2016
Governor Scott Proclaimed January as Human Trafficking Awareness Month in Florida
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – This month, Governor Rick Scott issued the attached proclamation recognizing January as Human Trafficking Awareness Month. Governor Rick Scott recommended a $1.7 million increase in this year’s Florida First budget to expand services for adolescent victims of human trafficking. Governor Scott also signed four bills into law that recently went into effect that raise awareness of the signs of human trafficking, protect survivors from further exploitation, and establish harsher punishment against perpetrators.
Governor Rick Scott said, “We must keep working to identify instances of human trafficking in Florida and help rescue victims. It is unfathomable that this evil occurs in our state, but by expanding services and passing important legislation this year, we are helping to save and heal the lives of our state’s most vulnerable.”
DCF Secretary Mike Carroll said, “Since the department began taking reports of human trafficking in 2009, we have continued to see a rise in the number of reports throughout the state. Identifying victims is the first step in helping match children with the services they need. Every citizen should learn to recognize and report the signs of human trafficking to help end this horrific abuse.”
The Department of Children and Families and the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice also developed and recently launched a human trafficking screening tool to assist trained staff in the process of identifying and assessing child victims of human trafficking. During federal fiscal year 2014-2015, more than 1,200 reports of human trafficking were reported in Florida through the increased use of the Florida Abuse Hotline to help identify possible instances of human trafficking.
DJJ Secretary Christina Daly said, “We proudly stand with the Department of Children and Families to help eliminate human trafficking in Florida. By working together with our partners at the statewide and local level, the victims of this egregious crime can be identified, receive the necessary services to address their trauma, and start on the path towards healing.”
Human Trafficking Awareness Month is recognized every January. More information on how to recognize the signs of human trafficking, as well as how to report it, visit: www.myflfamilies.com/service-programs/human-trafficking.