Broward County Bailiff Roger DeHart is on a mission to raise awareness of human trafficking in South Florida

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Broward County Bailiff Roger DeHart is on a mission to raise awareness of human trafficking in South Florida

Roger DeHart, a Broward County Bailiff, is raising awareness for human trafficking in South Florida. 

As a friend of DeHart, Rossen Law Firm wanted to share his recent highlight on CBS4 News with Jim Berry.

The highlight talks about Miami hosting its 11th Super Bowl this weekend. 

While the Super Bowl is one of the world’s biggest parties, CBS4 News says it is also a major magnet for human sex trafficking. 

Watch the news segment for yourself to learn more about human trafficking and DeHart’s huge heart to continually combat against sexual exploitation and injustice in Broward County, South Florida and beyond.

 

Law Enforcement officials have asked hotel workers, ride services like Uber and Lyft and security personnel to be especially alert this week to help combat human trafficking during the Super Bowl, Time Magazine wrote in an article this week.  

 

At a “No Room for Trafficking” conference Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody said “these are the people most likely to encounter the victims and perpetrators of trafficking — and would be able to provide authorities with tips and evidence of the crime taking place,” Time wrote. 

 

The people most likely to be sold and enslaved for sex work are young girls, according to officials. An event as large as the Super Bowl with numerous parties spanning two weeks of time is “ripe for human and sex trafficking,” Time wrote.

 

“Most of the cases begin with anonymous tips. That’s how we’ll catch these guys,” Time reported Moody saying. 

 

For all South Floridians and visitors, keep your eyes open this weekend and over the next week as the parties continue. 

 

If you see something suspicious, call local authorities and/or the National Human Trafficking Hotline number:1 (888) 373-7888.

 

You can also text “help” or “info” to the National Human Trafficking Hotline at: 223733.

There is help in English, Spanish and more than 200 languages. 

 

For Reference:

Some warning signs of human trafficking (according to a center focused on combating human trafficking) might be:

 

Warning Signs that someone may be a victim of Human trafficking include:

  • Being controlled by others, driven to and from locations, and escorted at all times;
  • Being controlled and watched by others, having someone speak for them in public;
  • Not having a passport or other forms of I.D. in their possession;
  • Not having control of their own money or cellphone, may have more than one cellphone in their possession
  • Passport and ID documents confiscated by others
  • Not being familiar with the neighborhood they live or work in;
  • Being moved frequently; claim to be “new” or “just visiting”
  • Not being allowed to contact family or friends,
  • Lying about age/false ID;
  • Providing scripted or rehearsed answers to casual questions; and
  • May be in possession of excess cash outside their financial means and have hotel keys

Mental Health or Signs of Abnormal Behavior:

  • Act in a fearful, anxious, submissive or nervous manner, excessive concern about displeasing partner/employer
  • Fearful of law enforcement or immigration services
  • Avoids eye contact, has another person speak for them
  • May have visible signs of substance dependency
  • Expressing fear and intimidation through facial expressions or body language;
  • Use slang terminology that is popular within the sex industry subculture (daddy/pimp/ bottom, etc).

Physical Appearance:

  • May not be dressed in age inappropriate clothing
  • May not be dressed in clothing inappropriate for the time of year or context
  • May suddenly have expensive clothing, purses, shoes, nail services
  • Branding with tattoos of the trafficker’s name or symbol;
  • May have bruises or other signs of physical abuse including malnourished
  • Lacking in basic medical services or is being denied services by employer
  • May show signs of being physically restrained, confinement or torture

Victims may:

  • Not know they are being victimized because they have a relationship with their trafficker – it could be their boyfriend or friend;
  • Not appear to need assistance because they have a place to live, food to eat, nice clothes, medical care and even a “paying job”;
  • Be unaware of their rights, or may have been intentionally misinformed about their rights so they don’t know they can receive help;
  • Be taught to distrust and fear the government and law enforcement officers because they are afraid they will get arrested or deported (if from another country);
  • Feel alone, isolated, helpless with nowhere else to turn. Subsequently, they will do as they are told;
  • Fear for their safety or the safety of someone known to them, as some traffickers will threaten to harm the victim, their friends or family members if they report their situation to, or cooperate with law enforcement; and
  • Feel as though they have a debt to “pay back” – for things like gifts, drugs, accommodation, recruitment fees etc
  • Suffer trauma and psychological effects. In human trafficking related to sexual exploitation, the victims may be exposed to higher incidences of HIV and sexually transmitted infections.
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