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Tourism makes South Florida a hot spot for human trafficking

Tourism makes South Florida a hot spot for human trafficking
Tourism makes South Florida a hot spot for human trafficking
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A push from U.S. Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz to bring awareness of human trafficking and sexual exploitation in South Florida.

After meeting with prevention experts, Wasserman Schultz is drawing more attention on ways people can identify the warning signs here at home, an issue she’s been working on for years.

Palm Beach County resident Becky Dymond is the founder of Hepzibah House. She has devoted her life to save others.

For the last six years, Dymond has provided a safe space for sex trafficking survivors to escape the horrors. It’s so safe, we can’t even tell you where it is.

CBS12 got a look inside the home, tucked away in a secret location in central Palm Beach County. It’s a cozy, one-story residence, with a beautiful landscape outside. Inside, inspiring wall décor and faith, hope and love decorations.

Dymond has helped at least 40 women with counseling, job and life-skills training to get back on their feet.

“I have women that were abused, sexually abused when they were still in diapers,” said Dymond, Founder of Hepzibah House.

She even started her own business, called Zibah Treats, for women to bake and sell organic dog treats.

“It makes them feel they’re not getting handouts. That they are involved and being productive,” said Dymond.

Just like Dymond, you can make a difference in the fight.

Dymond said South Florida’s tourism spots like trendy nightclubs and sporting events facilitates sex exploitation.

Look out for warning signs like women’s physical behavior or who they’re with.

“It’s free market where there’s a demand, there’s going to be a supply that will spring up that demand,” said Dymond.

These survivors will stay for about 12 to 18 months to help them transition to a new life.

Dymond plans to add house for more women in the future.

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Hepzibah House is entirely run by donations.

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