Organizations Combine To Combat Human Trafficking In Brevard
By Charles Parker // December 4, 2014
January is Anti-Human Trafficking Month
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – A variety of local organizations are working together to create awareness and provide support to combat human trafficking in Brevard County and Central Florida.
January is Anti-Human Trafficking Month.
Brevard County entities working on this problem include the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, the Children’s Home Society, Zonta International and local churches.
The federal Department of Homeland Security also has a presence locally and Congressman Bill Posey has hosted local events in the past.
According to Mike Gisondi, a local member of the East Coast Human Trafficking Task Force, “Florida ranks third in the United State in human trafficking, with Orlando being a major porn center.
“Human trafficking is moving from Miami and Orlando because Brevard is seen as a sleepy, smaller area to evade law enforcement. Also, I-95 is a major corridor for transportation. With increased activity at Port Canaveral comes the potential for greater human traffic there.”
Gisondi said that local collaboration, particularly among churches, has been a key to success.
“Pastor Bill Stanley of Nomad Church in Melbourne is very active in bringing together faith groups in Brevard for this cause,” said Gisondi.
Currently he is spearheading a “Back Pack” drive to provide victims with supplies and resources for the initial steps of after care. These are provided to law enforcement to give to victims at that critical initial period.
“Pastor Stanley has been working closely Deacon Jack Rhine of Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church of Palm Bay on this. Deacon Rhine is energizing support among the Catholic communities in Brevard.
“Another example of faith action is the Central Baptist Church of Titusville sending a group to New York City for Human Trafficking Awareness Training so that they can reach out to more groups.”
A weekend of prayer is scheduled for January 9-11.
Human trafficking involves the trade of humans for financial gain. Examples are prostitution, forced pornography, and even the harvesting of organs for profit.
To get involved, email Gisondi at firstname.lastname@example.org