Florida Governor Rick Scott highlighted investments in the Florida Families First Budget to support victims of human trafficking. The recommended budget includes $1.5 million to provide trafficked youth with a safe home, $2.5 million to enhance the efforts of the Florida Council Against Sexual Violence to fight abuse and nearly half-a-million to support state and local law enforcement in the areas of high tech crime and Electronic Surveillance Support Teams. The Governor also highlighted the Department of Juvenile Justice’s “Victim Identification Pilot Project,” – a program that’s the first-of-its-kind in the nation that identifies trafficking victims and coordinates support services.
The Florida Families First Budget also invests an additional $2.5 million to enhance the efforts of the Florida Council Against Sexual Violence for 30 separate certified rape crisis centers statewide. This funding will help the council raise the level of awareness of rape and sexual abuse, improve law enforcement response to this heinous crime, and help ensure that victims have immediate access to high quality recovery services. In Miami, the budget invests more than $618,000 to expand the PACE Center for Girls to Miami-Dade County, which will provide educational services designed with girls’ specific needs in mind. With the investment, PACE will work with its private partners to grow services to young women in Miami community who need a strong support network. Governor Scott’s budget also invest more than $145,000 to improve the physical and mental health needs of youth to include psychiatric consultation and contract clinical specialists.
Learn more at Mark Young’s BrowardNet article: Gov Scott pledges money to fight human trafficking, sexual violence, & hi-tech crimes.