The “Porch Light” is On for Florida Human Trafficking Victims

The Florida Baptist Children’s Homes (FBCH) will be among the first to start a program in Florida to immediately rescue and restore child victims of domestic sex trafficking. Dubbed “The Porch Light, “ the first phase of the program will include one home where victims can live, receive specialized care by Christian staff, and learn to begin a new life.

“A simple porch light will burn bright on the threshold of this safe home, and those that will open in the next phases, until every young girl victimized by sex trafficking has been rescued, restored and set free,” said FBCH president Jerry Haag. “Our faith-based program symbolizes the never changing love of Christ that will turn lives around and spread the truth about sex trafficking,” Haag said.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services currently estimates that there are 199,000 incidents of sexual exploitation of minors annually in the United States. According to the Department of Children in Families (DCF), in the state of Florida there are only 20 beds open for children/adolescents to receive specialized care to overcome the emotional impact of sex trafficking.

The first “porch light” home will be staffed by a director, female caregivers, and a licensed mental health counselor.  It is set to open during the first quarter of 2014. Designed to comfortably hold up to five girls at one time, each girl’s stay will be approximately 9-12 months, depending on her individual and specific needs.

To limit the future number of victims, the first phase will also promote education on sex trafficking prevention and advocacy efforts throughout the state. FBCH representatives will partner with law enforcement to enter schools, churches and community groups throughout Florida to prevent more girls from becoming victims of the growing sex trade.

Learn more at the Florida Baptist Witness article: ‘Porch light’ to rescue sex-trafficking victims.

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