Help for victims of human trafficking - FOX 13 News

Help for victims of human trafficking

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LAKELAND (FOX 13) -

It is a horrifying thought for a parent: your child is lured into prostitution.

Experts say it happens every day. In Florida, they say more than 170 children have been victims of human trafficking. The average age is just 13 years-old.

"There are individuals who are attracted to very young girls, and so they're provided," said Pam Whitaker, a vice president at Florida Baptist Children's homes.

Her group is trying to help, and plans to open a shelter for victims in May. It will have five beds. They don't want to reveal the location; however, they say it is in central Florida.

"This is somebody's daughter. This is somebody's granddaughter. This is somebody's neighbor," said President Dr. Jerry Haag of Florida Baptist Children's Homes. "We have to intervene, and to be able to help these girls and be able to rescue and restore them."

Haag says his agency still needs several hundred thousand dollars to buy the home and property. It will also cost several hundred thousand dollars a year to operate the program and do outreach in area schools.

Florida Baptist Children's home is not only looking for donations, it needs volunteers as well to work with the girls. To learn about a three-day training program, go to www.fbchomes.org

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