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Brown announces more than $1M to support victims of human trafficking

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, announced Thursday that the U.S. Department of Justice has awarded two grants worth a combined $1,414,784 in funding to Advocating Opportunity, Inc. in Toledo.

The awards were granted through the below DOJ Office for Victims of Crime grant programs:

• Services for Minor Victims of Labor Trafficking: $664,932 to develop, expand or strengthen victim service programs for minor victims of labor trafficking whose victimization occurred when they were under the age of 18.
• Services for Victims of Human Trafficking program: $749,852 for organizations to support services specific to victims of human trafficking.

“We have a collective responsibility to protect and support survivors of trafficking and the first step to do that is to ensure that organizations like Advocating Opportunity in Toledo have the resources to help survivors access services to rebuild their lives,” Brown said. “This award is a testament to the work happening in Ohio to fight this heinous crime.

Brown’s office said he has long fought for legislation to eliminate human trafficking and support vulnerable children.

In May, Brown joined colleagues in introducing legislation to confront online child exploitation and reverse a decade of underfunding key enforcement and prevention efforts. Brown’s legislation, the Invest in Child Safety Act, would direct $5 billion to investigate and target the pedophiles and abusers who create and share child sexual abuse material online, increasing support for Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Forces and other entities working to locate missing and exploited children.

If you or someone you know is a victim of human trafficking, call the National Human Trafficking hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or text 233733. If you are in immediate danger, call 911.

Report missing children to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) at 1-800-THE-LOST (843-5678).