5 Minutes…

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Did you know you can save lives with just 5 minutes of your time?

For weeks, human trafficking advocates have encouraged state leaders to pass a bill that would require hotel and motel staff to receive training about human trafficking. It would also allow victims who were exploited in these establishments to sue if the businesses were involved or turned a “willful blindness” to the crime.

Our friend and brave survivor, Savannah Parvu shared with lawmakers that at the age of 12, hotel staff facilitated men coming to a hotel room to rape her repeatedly. When she walked down the hall beaten and bloody, no one said a word.

This is more than willful blindness. Had this law been in place, her nightmare might have ended there but instead, it went on for years.

House Bill 167 has successfully passed all committees in the House and only needs a final vote. However, its partner, Senate Bill 1044, was mysteriously removed from the docket from the Rules Committee. After sailing through every committee, why was the bill pulled?

Senator Lauren Book (D-Hollywood, above) said she postponed it because the House was not going to pass it in its original form. However, Representative Ross Spano (R-Dover) who sponsored the House Bill said the bill is moving forward with great support – in its original form!

It is rumored that special interest groups tied to the hospitality industry are lobbying against the bill, fearful of unwarranted liability. However, the bill encourages training that will help ensure it does not happen in these establishments and clearly only looks to hold accountable businesses that are involved or do nothing to respond to a victim’s needs, like what happened to Savannah.

Time is running out. This is the final week for the Senate to hear the bill or it will have to wait until the next session!

What about those 5 minutes? 

Please take 5 minutes to call and email the following two Florida Senators and ask that they have the Senate Rules Committee hear SB 1044 THIS WEEK! We’ve even made it super easy for you, just click the email links below for a pre-drafted email you can edit and send!

Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto
Contact: 850-487-5027

Email Senator Benacquisto 

Senator Lauren Book
Contact: 850-487-5032

Email Senator Book

Not sure what to say on the phone? Here’s a simple script for a phone call. 

“Hello _____, my name is ___ and I am calling from ______. I care deeply about victims of human trafficking. I am aware that the Senate Rules Committee has postponed hearing Senate Bill 1044. I believe this leaves victims at risk and would like to encourage you to please hear the bill this week. I believe it will help victims in many ways and could significantly help prevent more of this terrible crime from continuing. Thank you!”

In 5 minutes or less, YOU can make a difference in countless lives. Thank you for changing the world today! 

More on this story:

Orlando Sentinel: House Bill moves forward

Orlando Sentinel: Florida Abolitionist and Advocates ask Disney to take a stand

WFTV: Senate Bill being postponed


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