SARASOTA – Mentoring and educating survivors of human exploitation. That’s the mission of Sarasota’s own, ‘More Too Life’ non-profit organization.
At More Too Life they are advocating for the general public to become more aware regarding human and sex-trafficking, as these kinds of cases can hide in plain sight and go un-noticed without proper education.
Survivors of human trafficking can participate in programs and resources aimed towards empowering them to discover their authentic selves; taking charge of their future.
Derek Thompson- Regional Advocate for More Too Life says with a Salvation Army partnership, housing for survivors is available.
“We can provide a safe place for these women to stay while they’re getting intense services with More Too Life, and transitioning them into long-term placements,” said Thompson.
“We provide services for those who have experienced sexual violence , and then also those who can be classified as sex trafficking victims,” said Thompson.
Some of the services offered include mentoring, intervention, counseling and mental behavior health management.
Dr. Brook Parker-Bello- More Too Life Founder says most of their survivors are minors, which she credits to the rise in social media.
“Because kids are caught up and addicted to devices, addicted to social media, not understanding the predator behavior, and because so much trafficking, abuse, cyber bullying, rape, happens online, kids don’t really know what a true friend is anymore. And that’s something we teach in the prevention of that,” said Parker-Bello.
Open to the public are classes for children, approved by Sarasota county curriculum, aimed towards prevention training.
“like we break down lyrics, like kids listen to certain hip-hop songs or rock songs, and the lyrics were stuff that are actually really negative and even sexually promiscuous or violent. And we break that down and go, how many hours a day do you listen to that song, like over and over again, so what’s that doing to their brain and their heart, and we talk about that and they’re like oh my god, I’m like repeating this over and over again, and so it’s affecting who I am and what I think,” said Parker-Bello.
“We want people to know, if they’ve experience sexual violence, or trauma or there’s a suspicion of it that there’s some root causes to it, please reach out to us at More Too Life,” said Thompson.
Now Dr. Bello also says with Men being 99% of the violators, she believes in the power of men to be the driving force for change. More Too Life is asking for Suncoast men to become volunteers and get involved to keep their communities safe from sexual violence and human trafficking.
More Too Life will be at CineBistro along with some very special guests TBA on January 17th bringing awareness and teaching the community as a whole.