ARTICLE

Date ArticleType
10/4/2017 Member News
SELAH FREEDOM’S MISTY LAPERRIERE WINS SURVIVOR ADVOCATE OF THE YEAR AWARD

Selah Freedom is proud to announce that Misty Laperriere, Director of Outreach and Law Enforcement Liaison, has won the prestigious Survivor Advocate of the Year Award at Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Annual Florida Human Trafficking Summit. In 2016, Laperriere assisted the Sarasota Police Department in rescuing two women from a local hotel. In addition to her work with victims, Laperriere provides training to several law enforcement agencies in Florida including the Sarasota and Bradenton Police Departments and travels throughout the state helping victims of human trafficking. She is now the lead of day-to-day operations for TYLA (Turn Your Life around) Prostitution Court Diversion Program created by Selah Freedom, the State Attorney’s Office 12th Judicial Circuit, Sarasota Police Department and First Step Detox. Misty is also a survivor of sex trafficking and exploitation who has used her experiences to empower thousands of survivors through Selah Freedom’s four programs: Awareness, Prevention, Outreach and Residential Safe Housing.

The Human Trafficking Summit brought together law enforcement, service providers, legislators and advocates alike. Bondi stated that Hollywood has glamorized prostitution and kidnapping in movies like “Taken,” and that “Unfortunately, the father doesn’t come in and save the child at the end of the day,” she said. “Your child can be sitting at the dinner table every night and be a victim of human trafficking.” Academy award-winning actress Anne Archer also spoke. The “Fatal Attraction” star founded Artists for Human Rights in 2006 to encourages Hollywood to utilize its platform to spread awareness and solutions to fight sex trafficking. She brought light to the sad truth that the portrayal of sex by Hollywood has implied that the sex industry is empowering for young women. “The reality is far darker than the images you see on screen,” Archer said. “Teenagers and children are being bought and sold online like a used bike or iPhone.” Both Bondi and Archer presented Laperriere with her award.

“I could not be more proud! Misty has been a part of our team since she began as a Survivor Facilitator and watching her confidence and skill set grow, as she stepped not only into her leadership role but into embracing the fact that her past makes her platform even stronger, has been a privilege. I could not have greater admiration of her and share in this celebration of her accomplishments! She is now leading a team that includes some of our Selah Freedom survivor graduates who serve as Survivor Facilitators and Survivor Advocates.” – Elizabeth Fisher, President/CEO, Selah Freedom.

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