State lawmakers pass bill aimed to protect Florida families from human trafficking

Proposal to create "Pimps & Johns" registry

FLORIDA — State lawmakers have proposed and passed a bill that is aimed at protecting Florida families from human trafficking.

Blythe Duckworth Zayets said she spends every day working with local human trafficking survivors at the Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center.

She explained, “It’s actually women who are from our community and being recruited by pimps and johns from our community.”

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According to Duckworth Zayets, Florida ranks third in the country for calls to the National Sex Trafficking Hotline.

A bill awaiting the governor’s signature would create a public database listing the names, addresses and photographs of convicted pimps and johns.

“I know that there is a shame factor that will go along with that,” Duckworth Zayets said.

The registry would be similar to the current database for sex offenders – it would be public record but it wouldn’t be available online.

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She said, “While some survivors are looking for justice, depending on where they are in they journey, other survivors are looking to move on.”

Those working at the center is hoping the database would discourage buyers, decreasing the demand.

Duckworth Zayets described, “I think having the visibility of it is a good place to start.”

She said they’re wary of the loopholes that could come with the legislation.