(Attached picture: The Board of County Commissioners are pictured with representatives of the Tri-County Human Trafficking Response Team)
The Citrus County Board of County Commissioners presented a Proclamation at their regular meeting on January 12 recognizing January as “Human Trafficking Awareness Month” in Citrus County. Human trafficking is a form of modern day slavery and is a crime against humanity that violates the most basic human rights and Florida is one of the states with the highest call volume to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center.
The criminal enterprise of human trafficking is second only to the illegal drug trade. In terms of speed of its growth and being among the most lucrative, traffickers typically use multiple means to control their victims including beatings, rape, isolation, drug or alcohol dependency, document withholding, and psychological and emotional abuse. In the United States each year, as many as 100,000 to 300,000 American children are at risk of being trafficked for commercial sex. Girls and boys in the commercial sex trade are as young as 11 years old. Through the Tri-County Human Trafficking Response Team, our local community unites to combat this modern day slavery and brings together non-profits, government, and private sector businesses in prevention, prosecution, education and awareness efforts to restore freedom and dignity to survivors.