Innocence Lost Initiative

5/3/2013 | Author: Elaine Terenzi


The Athena Society hosted a luncheon on on May 2 for their members and others in the community to discuss domestic minor sex trafficking in Tampa Bay and surrounding areas. Assistant U.S. Attorney Stacie B. Harris (shown), and FBI Special Agent Gregory Christopher delivered an engaging and informative presentation describing the Innocence Lost initiative to disrupt criminal organizations that prey on our youth and rescue the victims. Internet marketing of juveniles for sex requires new investigative approaches to investigations. They described the challenges of prosecuting the defendants and reintegrating the victims to make a permanent positive impact. Connie Rose shared her personal experience as a victim/survivor further highlighting the need for an integrated law enforcement, educational, and  social service approach to intervention. The greatest current need is a safe and secure place to house reclaimed children and mentors, teachers, and employers to support successful reintegration.

How you can help reverse this growing trend:

As a Parent
  • Be attentive to who your child is hanging out with
  • Ask questions, communicate
  • Know their friends, who they socialize with
  • Know what websites your child visits on their computer and cell phones
As a Citizen
  • Be observant
  • If you identify a potential victim, report it
  • Share the message, educate others
  • Provide financial support for re-integration efforts
  • Volunteer!