Despite all of the changes brought by COVID-19 and governmental response, the Attorney General says human trafficking is still a concern.
“Human traffickers aren’t stopping despite the health threats from COVID-19 — and neither will we cease our efforts to stop them,” AG Ashley Moody said Thursday.
“It is abhorrent that unscrupulous individuals would take advantage of the pandemic and try to lure people through the use of force, fraud or coercion for nefarious purposes when so many find themselves on hard times. We need to continue to be vigilant in our fight to combat human trafficking. Know the signs of human trafficking, and if you see something, say something,” Moody urges.
One avenue for recourse, the Attorney General notes, is the National Human Trafficking Hotline, which remains “fully operational.”
“If you suspect human trafficking, or if you are a victim yourself, there are resources available and by calling Polaris at 1(888) 373-7888, the hotline can help finding safe ways to escape abusers and shelter in place.”
This Attorney General has taken up a number of causes during her tenure, but the fight against human trafficking has been a constant.
The signs of human trafficking often are coercive relationships.
Bruises are often telltale signs, Moody notes. As is sounding coached or otherwise under external control when speaking.
Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, the focus was on major events coming to the state.
“In one year, the need for well-thought-out data-based strategic efforts have never been more important because we have so many big events that we know will attract human traffickers and that behavior,” Moody told reporters in January.
She was selected as co-chair of the National Association of Attorneys General Human Trafficking Committee this year.
“Human trafficking is a scourge on society and fighting to end it in Florida has been one of my top priorities since taking office. I will help lead this committee in an effort to identify new tactics and innovative approaches to end human trafficking in Florida and nationwide,” Moody said at the time.
However, with big events strictly theoretical for the foreseeable future, the Attorney General’s message Thursday is a grim reminder that, despite all of the changes in recent months, human trafficking remains a depressing constant.