Human trafficking survivors come together to raise awareness

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Human trafficking survivors come together to raise awareness

This weekend human trafficking survivors will come together to raise awareness and money for victim aid.

Jamie Walton was just 14-years-old when she became a victim of human trafficking.

Walton said, “It’s not like you would see in a hollywood movie or something like that where someones being kidnapped but it’s more along the lines of psychological warfare”

For her, it started as an innocent romantic relationship, “They target younger kids because they don’t have a sense of identity. There’s generally a sense of vulnerability,” Walton said, explaining what often happens, “They all of a sudden become their boyfriend or girlfriend and treat them beautifully and then one day it just stops and they take them into the actual traffic.”

Here in Southwest Florida it happens every day in almost every community.

Lynn Brewer, President of Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking said, “Geographically speaking, we are sitting through two major trafficking hubs.

“Florida is number three in the country and SWFL is now presently ranked number one within the state of florida.” Brewer said.

Brewer aims to fight that statistic. Her organization Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking” and its partners are holding the annual Taste of Freedom Masquerade gala on Saturday. The event raises awareness and funds for victims.

“It’s not an overnight thats get better, you dont give someone a pill for this, it takes many years for some of these people and especially the minors you know? They have been formed with this concept that they are worthless,” Brewer said.

Last year the coalition worked with 67 people who were taken out of trafficking.

To help the problem, victims and advocates say it’s all about education in the community.

For more information on human trafficking in SWFL visit:

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