Southeast Florida Sex Trafficked Children to Receive Trauma-Informed Care

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Voices for Florida announced that the More Too Life, Inc anti human trafficking organization was awarded the contract to provide Open Doors Outreach Network services to sex trafficked children and young adults ages 10 – 24 in the Southeast Florida region. More Too Life anticipates it will begin accepting referrals in early 2022 to provide Open Doors services in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties.

Voices for Florida’s Open Doors Outreach Network is the state’s leading 24/7/365 network for helping sex trafficked children and young adults. Victims are supported by a team of professionals, including Survivor-Mentors, Regional Advocates, Clinicians and Victim Services Coordinators that work together to provide emergency stabilization, individualized wellness plans, ongoing support and more to help victims heal.

Over 1,200 Victims Have Received Open Doors Outreach Network Services
Open Doors Outreach Network services are available in three other Florida regions: Big Bend, Northeast Florida, and Suncoast, and will be growing into early 2022. Since 2017, over 1,200 sex trafficked child and young adult victims have been served by the Open Doors Outreach Network.

“Under the leadership of Dr. Brook Bello and her key executive team, More Too Life has provided transformational services for over 18 years, and since 2017 has also provided Open Doors services to over 370 sex trafficked children and young adults in the Suncoast region,” said Dan Stengle, Voices for Florida Board Chair. “We are greatly looking forward to expanding this partnership with More Too Life to Southeast Florida, which has such a high need for services.”

All Children are Vulnerable
Florida is a hot spot for human trafficking, ranking third in the nation for reports to the National Human Trafficking Hotline. There were 896 reports of human trafficking in Florida to the National Human Trafficking Hotline in 2019, the latest statistics available. Most of the reports (640) were for sex trafficking and 172 reports involved minors. In 2019 there were 37 verified child sex trafficking victims in Miami-Dade County, which consistently ranks in the top 5 Florida counties for prevalence of verified victims.

The average age of a child sex trafficking victim is just 12-14. Both boys and girls are victimized. All children are vulnerable, but foster children, runaways and homeless kids are especially at risk.

“Under guidance of our Open Doors and More Too Life team, as well as other key team members and supporters, clients transform from victims to survivors, survivors to thrivers and, ultimately, thrivers to champions. Perhaps the biggest challenge for victims is redefining who they are outside of what happened to them. Little by little, by addressing the trauma they’ve experienced, we assist them in discovering their authentic identity, an essential component in becoming a survivor,” stated Dr. Brook Bello, PhD, founding CEO of More Too Life, an Open Doors Outreach Network provider. “The power of helping others is done together. Partnerships with accountability and care can show survivors the power of the integrity it takes to work as a team.”

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