Advocates Clash Over Sex-Trafficking Treatment

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Associated Press Release


MIAMI (AP) -- When Gov. Rick Scott visited Miami last summer, he touted a new law that would allow sex trafficking victims to go to a safe house instead of being jailed as prostitutes.

The state's first short-term safe house opened in April, but according to a recent report from a Miami-Dade County grand jury, several girls ran away and one was raped after she fled.

The six-bed safe house closed in June, reigniting debate about how to best help sex trafficking victims. Advocates are divided over whether the victims should be locked in a safe house to break their bond with their pimp or be free to leave the safe house. The Miami safe house that voluntarily closed allowed the women to leave if they wanted to.

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