About Us

Our mission is to prevent human trafficking by empowering individuals through education and collaborative action in Southwest Florida.

HOTLINES

National Human Trafficking Hotline: 1-888-373-7888

SWFL Crime Stoppers: 239-332-5555

ACT Hotline: 239-939-3112

National Runaway Safeline: 1-800-786-2929

Youth Courses

ARTREACH & TIP

ARTREACH works to inspire our future leaders to teach others about human trafficking. TIPS provides a safe and controlled environment for youth 8-18 years old to experience simulated beginning scenarios of human trafficking.

Adult Courses

Point of Contact Point of Rescue is designed to educate professionals to recognize possible victims of human trafficking who may come under their care or into their establishments.Train the Trainer is our opportunity to teach adults how to lead an ARTREACH program in their community.

We're All in this Together.

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About Us

How did HTAP begin?

In June of 2004, a group of women on Sanibel Island, Florida, decided that they wanted to learn about human trafficking. The organization they belonged to, Zonta International, a worldwide organization of professional women and business executives with a mission of empowering women worldwide, was working on the issue in Bosnia-Herzegovina and they researched the issue to see if it existed in their community.

To their astonishment, they discovered that Florida was ranked as one of top three states in terms of cases of human trafficking in the nation. They learned that trafficking was a $150 billion dollar international criminal industry, second only to drug trafficking. They continued to research the issue and invited the local sheriff to breakfast to discuss the possibility of setting up a county task force and they took responsibility for organizing the first meeting.

A few months later, the first task force meeting was held and over 80 law enforcement, service providers, service club members, concerned citizens and media came. At that first meeting, a service provider realized that one of the residents of her foster care home fit the criteria of a trafficking victim and that another young woman who was in the foster care system with all the signs of being a trafficking victim. Three weeks later, four people were arrested on charges of human trafficking and soon the second young victim received her certification as a trafficking victim, entitling her to rights under the Trafficking Victim Protection Act of 2000. She was soon moved to the group home along with her baby.

Since that first meeting 10 years ago, the Coalition has been meeting and the members have been working together.  Most importantly, the spirit of cooperation among law enforcement, service providers, community members and the media has led to rescues, arrests and prosecution and has been emulated by other communities as they form their own task forces. As Asst. US Attorney Doug Molloy says, "Because of heightened public awareness in Lee County, we have had more cases come to light than in most states". The Southwest Florida Regional Human Trafficking Coalition is the direct outcome of that first Task Force meeting in 2005.

Since traffickers do not honor regional boundaries, information is shared by multiple jurisdictions, encouraging and even requiring cooperation. Successful outcomes are always a group effort, especially in dealing with Human Trafficking.

In 2006, when literally dozens of organizations approached our founder to help start their own community task forces, Human Trafficking Awareness Partnerships was founded. Since that time, HTAP has provided services, trainings and programs to thousands of people and hundreds of organizations.

 

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Latest News

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264: Summer camp using art to teach children about sex trafficking

Summer camp using art to teach children about sex trafficking July 14, 2016 6:31 PM EDT Share on Facebook Tweet […]

10th an news

363: HTAP to hold reception to thank community for 10 years of support

HTAP to hold reception to thank community for 10 years of support July 14, 2016 By MEGHAN McCOY (mmccoy@breezenewspapers.com) , Island Reporter, […]

htap in the news

362: Human Trafficking Awareness and Prevention in Southwest Florida

Human Trafficking Awareness and Prevention in Southwest Florida The Community Press, July 2016 Suddenly human trafficking is in the news. […]

See all our news
PCPR Programs
79
ARTREACH Programs
44
TIPS Programs
16
Train the Trainer
10

For more information about HTAP please contact us.

Or, to help support us please click the donate button.