Dear Rep. ___________:

I write to express my strong opposition to House Bill 219/Senate Bill 370 in their current forms. While I fully support efforts to address human trafficking by reducing the demand created by sex buyers, the part of these bills that increases a convicted sex buyer’s jail sentence based on the prostituted person’s vulnerable status as a human trafficking victim threatens the victim’s physical safety, psychological and emotional well-being, and legal rights in the following ways: 

1. Victims who admit to being a human trafficking victim could face retaliation from traffickers and accused buyers resulting in safety risks; 

2. Victims will be subjected to added trauma from the State and the accused buyer’s defense attorney eliciting the victim’s testimony because the victim’s status must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt; 

3. Victims could lose critical legal rights and protections through the victim’s unrepresented involvement in the criminal justice system. 

I do support the portion of HB 219 that criminalizes strip club owners’ and managers’ failure to comply with age-verification requirements. I would also support increasing sex buyer penalties if all references to human trafficking “victim” are removed from the bills. Amending the bills as such would maintain the important demand reduction feature while removing the clear and serious risks to human trafficking victims. However, absent an amendment removing all references to human trafficking “victim,” I strongly oppose HB 219 and SB 370 and urge you vote against the bill.

Thank you, 

Below are the email addresses and some phone numbers of those on the committees:

House Judiciary Committee

(386) 446-7644


(239) 417-6200

Vice chair

(727) 552-2747

Ranking member

Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Criminal and Civil Justice

(727) 563-2100


(407) 297-2045

Vice Chair

Thank you. 



Brent A. Woody
lead attorney/executive director

P.O. Box 586
Dunedin, Florida 34697


Clearwater, Florida 

727.500.2850 (direct)

727.940.2282 (office)
727.361.9931 (fax)

The West Florida Center for Trafficking Advocacy, Inc. d/b/a Justice Restoration Center is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. Donations to the organization are tax-deductible. Go to: to support the work for victims and survivors. 

Information contained in this transmission may be attorney/client privileged, and/or work product.  It is intended solely for the use of the individual to whom it is addressed.  If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution and/or copying of this communication is strictly prohibited.  If you have received this communication in error, please immediately notify the sender.

TIME TO ACT!H.R. 1585 – To reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act of 1994. This bill is reported out of committee and currently has 111 co-sponsors. 110 Democrats and 1 Republican. Let’s find out why and encourage Rep. Buchanan to support this important bill. Contact his office and our other legislators. A list of our legislators is on our web page. You may also contact our Advocacy Chair, Tom Goselin, at


On Feb 25, 2019, at 9:34 AM, Tom Goselin <> wrote:

2 bills worthy of contacting Rep. Buchanan to request that he support and cosponsor:

On Feb 25, 2019, at 9:34 AM, Tom Goselin <> wrote:

2 bills worthy of contacting Rep. Buchanan to request that he support and cosponsor:

H.R. 973 116th Violence Against Women Health Act of 2019

To amend the Public Health Service Act to provide for additional programs funded by grants to strengthen the health care systems response to domestic violence,  dating violence,  sexual assault,  and stalking and for other purposes.

Introduced 2/5/19

Sponsor, Debbie Dingell, Mich.     Has 13 cosponsors,  7 Dem and 6 Rep.

H.R.1012 116th Congress REUNITE Act

To reunite families separated at or near ports of entry,  and for other purposes.

This bill contains provisions that help protect against Human Trafficking of minors.

Sponsor, Adriano Espaillat, N.Y., 13

Has 13 cosponsors, all Dem 2/22/19


Contacts to impact Human Trafficking

One of the

most important things we can do to impact Human Trafficking is be aware of what is going on at the Federal, State and Local level regarding proposed laws and actions and let our elected representatives know what actions we want them to take.
If you live in Sun City Center and your zip code is 33573-6921 all the following information applies. If you are in a different zip code or have a different +4 you can go to this website for more information:

Sen. Marco Rubio go to webpage to email (then you can save that page to your desktop for easy access) ph 813 853 1099.

Sen. Rick Scott does not yet have a Senate webpage. Email phone 202 224 5274

Rep. Vern Buchanan you have to go to his webpage to email and must know your zip+4 phone 941 747 9081 202 225 5015

Sen Bill Galvano (2019 Senate President)
Go to website to email phone 941 741 3401
Assembly Mike Beltran no webpage yet.
Phone 850 717 5057

In Florida the Department of Children and Families oversees Human Trafficking
Tampa area Regional Managing Director is Lisa Mayrose ph 813 558 5500.

Remember that for any of them that have a website you can save their contact page to your desktop and save lots of time if you contact them regularly (which hopefully you will be doing).


From AAUW:

For victims of sexual assault, coming forward and reliving the trauma of their experience is one of the toughest things they will ever do. And for young students, coming forward about sexual harassment or assault can be terrifying.

But, Betsy DeVos wants to make it more difficult for survivors of assault and victims of harassment to come forward. She’s proposing changes to Title IX that would create incentives for institutions to shield assailants and promote harassing, abusive behavior.

Tell Betsy DeVos: Do not water down Title IX protections for sexual assault survivors and victims of sexual harassment.

The changes to Title IX that Betsy DeVos is pushing include:
• Allowing for cross-examination of rape victims in live hearings on college campuses;
• Dramatically narrowing the definition of sexual harassment at K-12 schools and on college campuses;
• Drastically scaling back compliance requirements for schools and universities; and
• Watering down the standard of proof for evaluating claims of sexual harassment and assault.
Before these changes become final though, they have to go through a formal public comment process. That’s where you come in.

Submitting public comments, especially ones that are personalized from students and educators who are directly impacted, is essential.

Why? The more comments the Education Department receives—especially personalized, thoughtful comments from people and organizations affected by the proposed regulation—the more difficult it is for them to ignore the public opposition to this terrible rule.

More than 71,000 brave individuals and organizations have already spoken out against Betsy DeVos’s changes to Title IX. They’ve shared their experiences and expertise dealing with sexual harassment and assault. Will you join them?

The deadline to submit your comment is January 30.

That means we have only four days to show Betsy DeVos that her agenda to protect wealthy institutions at the expense of silencing survivors will not happen on our watch.

We must speak up for the victims of sexual harassment and assault, both past and future.

Thank you in advance for making your voice heard on this important matter.

In solidarity,

Mary Kusler
Senior Director, Center for Advocacy
National Education Association


Take Action to Protect Title IX


Another pending legislative matter:

H.R. 6069 FIND human Trafficking Act is scheduled to come to the floor again in the House of Representatives next week. This bill passed the House but never the Senate last spring. The bill would require the Comptroller General of the US to carry out a study on how virtual currencies and online marketplaces are used to buy, sell or facilitate the financing of goods or services associated with sex or drug trafficking. Summary:
Fight Illicit Networks and Detect Trafficking Act or the FIND Trafficking Act
(Sec. 3) This bill directs the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to report on the use of virtual currencies and online marketplaces in sex and drug trafficking. The GAO must study topics including:
• how illicit proceeds are transferred into the U.S. banking system,
• state and non-state actors that benefit from or participate in such activity,
• preventative efforts from federal and state agencies, and
• how to use the unique characteristics of virtual currencies to track illicit activity.

If you are interested in this bill, Tom Goselin, our Advocacy Chair, suggests you contact Representative Vern Buchanan or contact Tom Goselin at We are so pleased Tom is keeping us informed on these very important matters!

Comments are closed.