Miami News

Awareness Campaign Hopes to Address Increasing Sex Trafficking Issue in South Florida

A woman with bloodstains on her mouth blindfolded with her hands tied.

Sex trafficking is a bigger problem than we realize, and it needs to be addressed

The county is expected to fill up with several billboards and posters for the new awareness campaign about sex trafficking, which is becoming a bigger problem in South Florida than most realize.

The posters, billboards, and other forms of public awareness aim to highlight the dangers and risks of this practice while also providing helplines and resources in case of an incident.

The practice of sex trafficking in South Florida

It may come as a shock to many, but Florida ranks number three for the highest rate of sex trafficking in the country, with over 700 victims tracked in the past 8-10 years. Miami-Dade is number one in the state.

Victims are easily moved through the region and across borders via ports and airports, given that the county is a tourist hotspot. These victims are often minors aged 11-13, who are groomed and forced into this horrific trade, forced without any chance of escape.

In fact, many of the victims tend to be locals who were born and raised in Miami-Dade and from local communities. More recently, out of 145 investigations and interviews conducted by the Miami-Dade PD, 13 perpetrators were arrested.

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What you can do to help a potential victim

There are several signs to look out for when trying to spot a sexual trafficking victim, including odd body language, withdrawn behavior, renting hotel rooms by the hour, odd age gaps between pairs and couples, and more.

You can report these incidents and share your observations with the State Attorney’s Office Human Trafficking Hotline: 305-FIX-STOP (305-349-7867) or https://humantrafficking.miamisao.com/, and in the future, you can even share updates on the soon-to-developed app that Jose “Pepe” Diaz is backing.

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