The statistics are sobering. Florida ranks third in the country for human trafficking cases. Northwest Florida has the highest child trafficking intake rate in the state per 100 children, according to DCF. The good news is that an upcoming conference will help inform and equip our community.
“Trafficking doesn’t just happen in big cities,” said Angie Ishee, Executive Director of Magdalene’s, Inc., a local trafficking-fighting nonprofit. “It happens right here in Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties, and Magdalene’s is committed to making sure our community knows what to look for and how to protect themselves.
“Our children are being targeted, recruited, and groomed online, and we can help protect them from this evil,” Ishee said.
Sexual exploitation and sex trafficking happen right here in our backyard, and community members are invited to a conference October 19 from 6-7:30 p.m. at the Rex Theatre on Palafox Street, offered free by Magdalene’s. Attendees will learn how to spot and report trafficking, and how to help protect children.
Trafficking is modern-day slavery and is a global $150 billion crisis. Sex trafficking victims can be any age, any gender, any race, or economic strata. Seventy percent are women or girls, and 83 percent of trafficking cases in Florida start with online contact.
“This is an opportunity to hear from experts who are committed to fighting exploitation and trafficking in our area,” Ishee said. “They will provide practical ways to guard against perpetrators who target unsuspecting members of our community, mainly our kids.”
Parents, grandparents, leaders, and concerned community members are encouraged to attend, as well as church and work groups.
Learn the signs and tips to protect our children at this free event, where a trafficking survivor will share her compelling story.
Get your free ticket for the Magdalene’s Human Trafficking Conference at EventBrite.com (search “Community Human Trafficking Conference” in Pensacola if link isn’t clickable).
The presentation is geared to ages 15 and up. Parental discretion is advised.
The media is invited to attend the event, and advance media interviews are available with a Magdalene’s representative, as well as with the survivor of sex trafficking who will be sharing her story at the event.