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The Sarasota-based nonprofit Selah Freedom has been awarded more than $750,000 by the Department of Justice to support victims of human trafficking. Selah Freedom is a leading national anti-sex trafficking organization “with the mission to end sex trafficking and bring freedom to the exploited,” according to a release from Rep. Vern Buchanan’s office. Buchanan and Rep. Alcee Hastings recently introduced "The Human Trafficking and Exploitation Prevention Training Act," which would create a grant program within the Office of Trafficking in Persons, under the Department of Health and Human Services, to provide training for students, teachers and other school personnel about the warning signs of human trafficking. The bill is endorsed by several human trafficking prevention groups, including Selah Way Foundation. Elizabeth Fisher, the founder of Selah Freedom, has said that the Suncoast region is a “hotbed” for trafficking and that the organization is seeing the number of young women being rescued and receiving services triple annually.

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