Survivor-Mentor Jamie Rosseland Awarded Survivor Advocate of the Year


At the 2018 Human Trafficking Summit in Orlando hosted by the Florida Office of the Attorney General, Jamie Rosseland, Open Doors Outreach Network Survivor-Mentor on the staff of Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center, was honored with the Survivor Advocate of the Year award. The announcement was jointly presented by Attorney General Pam Bondi and Governor Rick Scott (pictured right).

On behalf of the Open Doors Network Providers, Voices for Florida was honored to nominate Rosseland. In just one year of operation, she and other members of the Outreach Team in Northeast Florida have served over 53 survivors from Nassau, Duval, St. Johns, Baker and Clay counties. Embodying the importance of victim-centered services, Jamie individualizes the support she offers to each victim.

However, Jamie’s impact extends far beyond Northeast Florida. She is currently collaborating with the FBI on the 93-count federal indictment against seven Backpage executives.

In addition, Jamie regularly presents at statewide and national summits and conferences engaging experts in the human trafficking field. Many of her presentations focus on the benefits of employing survivors. Jamie has helped both the public and private sectors understand that survivor’s unique experiences and perspectives lead to better outcomes with other victims. Their contributions go beyond being caring and mission-driven individuals, hitting at the core of the strengths of peer-to-peer interventions and support.

Many members of the Open Doors Outreach Network came to support Jamie at her panel at the 2018 Human Trafficking Summit in Orlando, which occurred October 1, 2018.

“Each day I get the opportunity to connect with survivors, to hear their stories of strength and resilience, and work with them on finding hope again. It’s an absolute honor to be a part of their lives and to share mine with them. Voices for Florida, through the Open Doors Outreach Network, has given me the opportunity to do this work every day with an incredible team. They have given me a platform to represent survivor leadership and victim-centered services in my community, the state of Florida, and beyond. It’s an absolute honor for that work to be recognized today,” said Rosseland after receiving the award.

Rosseland has been interviewed by NPR, consulted with law enforcement, and led trainings on the importance of language when engaging survivors. She uses her experience and education to reframe the way survivors are talked about, emphasizing how we must be careful to empower the future rather than exploit the storytelling of the past.

“Jamie is a strong team player and leads courageously through her pivotal role in meeting the individualized needs of those who have been referred for Open Doors services. We are most fortunate to work with such a dedicated, empowered, and inspirational woman.” Said Dr. Lawanda Ravoira, President and CEO of Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center.

Coming Soon: Cohort Trainings by Nationally Renowned Field Experts

This fall, Voices for Florida will hold its First Annual Cohort Trainings for Survivor-Mentors, Regional Advocates and Clinicians with the Open Doors Outreach Network. The trainings will be held in Tallahassee.

“Cohort trainings foster learning and connections among professionals who serve in the same position but in different regions,” explained Micheala Denny, Director of Education & Training for Voices for Florida. “We’re thrilled to continue elevating core competencies and the sharing of best practices, translational research and knowledge among our providers.”

October 11-12 Survivor-Mentor Cohort Training – Angie Conn, Elevate Mentor, Speaker, and Survivor Leader for the Rebecca Bender Initiative, will be the guest trainer. A survivor of domestic sex trafficking, abuse, and addiction, Conn has vast experience training agencies, schools, universities, and other organizations. Angie also sits on the National Survivor Network and West Virginia Human Trafficking Task Force and consults for both the juvenile and adult facilities at the WV Department of Corrections.

November 27-28 Regional Advocate Cohort Training – Led by Voices for Florida Education & Training Director Micheala Denny, a graduate of Florida State University with Master’s Degrees in Social Work, Geography, and Political Science. Micheala will share her extensive knowledge in advocating for victims of sexual violence. Prior to joining Voices, she served as the Executive Director for the Louisiana Foundation Against Sexual Assault, Director of Program Development for the Florida Council Against Sexual Violence, and as the Director of the Women’s Resource Center at Bucknell University.

December 11-12 Clinician Cohort Training – Lynne H. Harris, MPH, LPC, ATR is a consultant, trainer, and licensed mental health therapist in private practice for the past 10 years, and has worked in the health care field for over 20 years. She received an M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Marymount University (2006), in Arlington, VA. Prior to doing clinical work, she received a Master of Public Health degree from Columbia University (1995) in NY, with a specialization in Health Policy and Management, and worked in health care administration, policy, and research in New York City. She also received a Master’s in International Relations from The Johns Hopkins University (1990). She has held both supervisory and adjunct faculty positions at George Washington University Graduate Art Therapy Program in addition to her clinical work as a therapist and trauma specialist.

Voices for Florida’s training curriculum for the Open Doors Outreach Network uses applied learning principles and techniques to:

  • Build on the core competencies and enhance understanding of the Open Doors model in each of the three Outreach Team positions
  • Communicate best and promising practices and standardized policies and procedures
  • Provide team members an opportunity to connect with one another and other thought leaders to ensure that survivors receive the highest quality services
  • Pursue the value of collective impact in driving social change for commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of young adults in local communities
  • Ensure quality services through a thorough understanding of process mapping and continual learning

Outreach Network Spotlight

Christy Gillis is the Open Doors Outreach Network Regional Advocate for the North Coastal region, on staff of Children’s Home Society, including Flagler and Volusia counties. Before her involvement with Open Doors, Gillis worked in behavioral health for over 20 years, finding a passion in providing victim assistance with sex trafficking survivors. Her knowledge of the complex system of care grew with her involvement as Co-Chair of a sub-committee that handled placements of trafficking victims.

Gillis continues to generate public awareness about sex trafficking. She sits on the Executive Committee of the Freedom 7 Human Trafficking Task Force and is the Co-Chair of the Services Sub-Committee. Her many accomplishments led to recently receiving the Friends of Children Award.

Her record of community engagement makes Gillis an ideal Regional Advocate, part of the 3-person Open Doors Outreach team along with Survivor-Mentors and Clinicians. Together, they provide 24/7 support to victims as they heal and transform their lives. Regional Advocates play a critical role by engaging in cross-sector collaboration and becoming experts in locating and securing available services in alignment with their client’s individualized needs.

It is this approach that Gillis says makes the Open Doors Outreach Network unique. “We do have other providers in the area that serve trafficking victims, but we’re the only ones that have the Regional Advocate and Survivor-Mentor positions,” Gillis said. “The team approach allows us to help survivors through all their differing needs in a holistic manner.”

Gillis can attest to the success of the Open Doors model through the positive changes she has witnessed among the population she serves. Specifically, she highlighted the progress she’s seen in Jenny*, who Gillis recently helped transition into a safe home. “I have seen an impact with her,” Gillis said. “I was able to go and visit her recently, and from what she was telling me, she feels a connection to the community, wanting to make improvements. She can already see how she can be a leader within her peers.”
*Note: Name has been change to protect privacy

For more information, please contact the following:

  • Big Bend (Leon and Bay counties): Children’s Home Society of North Central, Leon: 850-219-4239; Bay: 850-819-3830
  • Central Florida (Brevard, Orange, Osceola and Polk counties): One More Child, 407-799-8719
  • North Coastal (Flagler and Volusia counties): Children’s Home Society of Greater Northeast Florida, 386-281-9823
  • Northeast (Nassau, Duval, St. Johns, Baker and Clay counties): Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center, 904-412-8923
  • Suncoast (Hillsborough, Manatee, Pinellas and Sarasota counties): More Too Life, 941-227-1012
  • Southwest (Collier and Lee counties): One More Child, 239-478-8649
  • Statewide Office (Tallahassee): Voices for Florida, 850-425-2621

Upcoming Dates

  • Champions for Change: Leading a Backbone Organization for Collective Impact, October 16-18, 2018
    Westdrift Manhattan Beach
    1400 Parkview Ave
    Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
  • Shared Hope JuST Conference, October 16-18, 2018
    Town & Country Resort
    500 Hotel Cir N, San Diego, CA 92108
  • See the Girl Summit, October 18-19, 2018
    Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center
    40 East Adams, Suite 130, Jacksonville, FL 32202
  • APHA 2018 Annual Meeting & Expo, November 10-14, 2018
    San Diego, CA
  • National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, January 11, 2019

Research Highlight

Childhood Trauma and its Lifelong Health Effects More Prevalent Among Certain Populations

New research published in JAMA Pediatrics finds that while adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are universal, they are more common among minorities, and those who are low-income, lack education, and/or identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual. ACEs increase the risk of chronic health problems later in life. The study explores this link between trauma and health, as well as potential intervention opportunities for children at greatest risk. Read More


If you believe you are a victim of or suspect human trafficking, please call:
Florida DCF Abuse Hotline: 1 (800) 962-2873 or National Human Trafficking Hotline: 1 (888) 373-7888


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