On May 5th the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay and the Florida Next Foundation will be hosting the event Give Day Tampa Bay. This event is a 24-hour online giving challenge which encourages the Tampa Bay community to donate to non-profit organizations. Just a heads up per Give Day Tampa Bay, the minimum donation is just $25.
This year the Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking will be participating in this event. We encourage all to partake in Give Day Tampa Bay. This event is a great way to show your support for all the work non-profit organizations provide to the Tampa Bay area and nationally.
Here is some background information about FCAHT’s founder, Anna Rodriguez. She had her first experience with a Human Trafficking case in 1999; U.S. vs. Tecum. Anna served as a victim advocate with the Collier County Sheriff’s Office and an outreach coordinator for the Immokalee Shelter for Abused Women in Collier County, Florida for 10 years. Her first human trafficking case developed from a “home visitation”, in where she was following up on a domestic violence incident. She noticed the presence of a young female who turned out to be a victim of human trafficking. Anna identified “red flags” that made her suspicious and eventually she helped get the victim out. Today the Tecum case has become a major case study by agencies including USDOJ, FSU, Croft Institute for International and New York Times. Mrs. Rodriguez has accumulated 16 years of experience in the identification, rescue, victim assessment and victim services of human trafficking victims both nationally and internationally. In 2004 Anna founded the Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking
The Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking is an International and Domestic Anti-Trafficking Agency. The mission of FCAHT is to improve and provide outreach and services to victims of human trafficking throughout the State of Florida by developing support programs, networking, coalition building, training, service delivery, and referrals to victims in need. FCAHT provides direct services to LGBTQ, male and female adult victims of human trafficking with or without substance abuse issues or any other medical issues or any disabilities. FCAHT also coordinates and assists with case management to minor of human trafficking. FCAHT will provide services to all forms of human trafficking victims: labor trafficking, sex trafficking, DMST and domestic servitude.
Anna Rodriguez has taken the Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking globally. Mrs. Rodriguez has traveled to Central and South Americas and the Caribbean conducting human trafficking training to law enforcement agencies, immigration officials, service providers, government officials and Consular designees on victim identification, victim assessment, trafficking indicators and short and long term victim care. Mrs. Rodriguez has received numerous awards and recognitions for her valuable work and was also recognized by former President George W. Bush, Former Attorney General John Ashcroft and FBI Director Robert Mueller. In December of 2009, Mrs. Rodriguez was recognized by Diputada Cordoba from the Congress of Argentina for her valuable assistance in the writing and passing of the human trafficking laws in Argentina. She also assisted in the organization of the Maria De Los Angeles Foundation in Tucuman, Argentina. Mrs. Rodriguez has also assisted numerous law enforcement agencies and service providers around the United States in coordinating services and developing a strong working relationship between civil society and law enforcement agencies. Her assistance helped the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office in San Antonio, Texas identify their first human trafficking case 3 days after they returned from training with Mrs. Rodriguez in Florida. Many agencies across the US seek out FCAHT for their human trafficking assistance and training’s.
The FCAHT spearheads a holistic, comprehensive model used to combat human trafficking. The model is comprised of five major components:
- Education and Awareness: Paramount to the fight to eradicate human trafficking is the need to bring the issue to the forefront of community consciousness. FCAHT conducts numerous outreach campaigns to equip community members with the knowledge to identify human trafficking victims and report their suspicions to the appropriate authorities.
- Victim Services: Upon identification of a human trafficking victim, FCAHT initiates a continuum of services for the victim. The continuum of care incorporates basic needs such as shelter, food and medical attention and spans to encompass victim advocacy, financial literacy, legal representation, and job preparation.
- Policy Development: FCAHT is continually involved with lawmakers in an effort to bolster existing laws and further empower human trafficking victims.
- Technical Assistance and Training: In an effort to create a cohesive response to identifying and responding to cases of human trafficking, FCAHT provides ongoing training to professionals serving within the following capacity: law enforcement, prosecutors, non-governmental organizations, healthcare workers, and faith-based organizations.
- Research Partnerships: FCAHT participates in research projects striving to develop promising practices in the delivery of services to victims of human trafficking.
One of the major components of our model is Education and Awareness. FCAHT provides training to law enforcement agencies, medical facilities, faith based, civil and community organizations to bring awareness and recognition to the signs and symptoms of Human Trafficking. This past year FCAHT has been able to promote human trafficking awareness and train 4,490 individuals statewide. FCAHT community outreach and awareness programs have informed over 3, 140 individuals just in the past year about human trafficking.
One of the ways the Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking promote awareness to the youth is through the F*Bomb Campaign (Friendship Bomb). This campaign was started by the Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking and the Tampa Bay Crisis Center. The F*Bomb campaign teaches the youth to drop an F*Bomb if they know someone who is being sexually exploited. The purpose of this campaign is to catch the attention of the youth. The F*Bomb campaign does this by not lecturing to the youth but by relating to them.
FCAHT works closely with community service providers to provide victims with emergency food and shelter, medical and psychological treatment and other services as needed to help these individuals restore their lives and their freedoms.
FCAHT provides community awareness with events such as Coffee & Conversations. Coffee & Conversations allows for the community to come together to discuss the issue of Human Trafficking within the Tampa Bay Area. Another way FCAHT promotes awareness is through the Freeze Project! This events gains the publics attention by freezing for 3-5 minutes and once unfrozen they are able to promote awareness of human trafficking with posters or by handing out information on human trafficking.
When considering donating to a charity, many people tend to research the issues connected to that organization. As a result, you become more educated about social injustices around the world.
Our organization is fighting against human trafficking to help victims of all forms of trafficking. Your donation on #givedaytampabay will help a great deal.
Giving to a non-profit organization may improve your sense of happiness. By providing donations to organizations it can give you a sense of purpose. By helping these organizations you are helping people in need which allows you to be apart of the community efforts.