Human Trafficking:
A Problem In Our Community?



Human trafficking is the modern equivalent of slavery and an extreme form of adult and child abuse. It is the trade of humans, most commonly for the purpose of sexual slavery, but also for forced labor or commercial sexual exploitation (prostitution). Women and young girls are particularly vulnerable to trafficking for the sex trade. Many times victims are persons with limited educational and economic opportunity who are tricked into trafficking by promises of jobs and improved living situations by criminals looking for economic gain.


How does human trafficking happen in the United States? Is it happening in our community? How can it be prevented? How do you recognize possible instances of human trafficking so that they can be reported to local law enforcement agencies?


We are pleased to welcome these two exceptional law enforcement officials to discuss this very important topic.

Sargent Sonya Bush, former Coordinator of the High Risk Victims Unit of the Tallahassee Police Department and member of the Executive Board of the Big Bend Coalition Against Human Trafficking.  Sonya Bush has been in Law Enforcement Officer for 24 years. The last 12 years have been with the Tallahassee Police Department. Her Career spanned from Patrol Division, School Resource/DARE, Field Training Officer, Financial Crimes Unit and the Special Victims Unit before being promoted to Sergeant in Patrol. She was the Coordinator of the High Risk Victim Program and sits on the Executive Board for the Big Bend Coalition Against Human Trafficking. She has served as a Hostage Negotiator, Forensic Interviewer and taught at the Pat Thomas Law Enforcement Academy, and for the Department of Health. She has also been the guest speaker for a number of events on the topic of Human Trafficking to include the Florida Sex Crimes Investigators Annual Conference.

Karen Ryan, an investigator with the Tallahassee Police Department's Special Victims Unit since 2014.  She has been in law enforcement for 14 years .   Karen spent 11 years with the Savannah Chatham Metro Police Department.   Her career spanned from the Patrol Division, Crime Suppression Unit, Burglary Crimes Detective and three years as a Homicide Detective.  Karen was promoted to Sergeant and left the department in 2012 as the Sergeant of the Special Victims Unit.  While in Savannah, Georgia, Karen taught police recruits for six years at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center (GPSTC).  She transferred to the Tallahassee Police Department in 2012 and worked patrol before becoming an Investigator with the Special Victims Unit in 2014.
Come to our next Hot Topics luncheon and get the answers to these questions. We invite you, your friends, and your always thoughtful questions to this timely discussion of a horrible form of abuse and what you can do to combat it.


May 27, 2015 WEDNESDAY

11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m Hot Topic Luncheon
Location:  Capital City Country Club, 1601 Golf Terrace Drive

Menu:Beef stroganoff or pasta primavera, salad bar,
vegetables, rolls and butter, coffee and tea  

Cost:Members - $17 Nonmembers - $20

The first three student members to RSVP eat FREE!!



FOR RESERVATIONS: Please RSVP by Saturday morning, May 23.   


Call 850-309-3005 or email



***Because the League must pay for reservations cancelled after Saturday, May 23, those who cancel late should reimburse the League for the cost of their reservations.***
 Nine Reasons to Join Today!

LWVF is on the move, and your voice is needed to keep up the fight for a better Florida!

Here’s a brief list of the League's most recent accomplishments:

1. Participated in a lawsuit that blocked the state of Florida's attempts to illegally purge registered voters 90 days before an election.

2. Reduced gerrymandering by leading the charge for the Fair Districts amendments, which finally set clear rules for drawing political districts, and were voted into the Florida Constitution by 63% of voters.

3. Eliminated roadblocks to voting by demanding that the Legislature reinstate early voting days and the Sunday before Election Day, following the incredible delays, including 8-hour long lines in Miami, that voters faced during Election Day 2012.

4. Struck down unconstitutional restrictions on voter registration via a precedent-setting victory in U.S. federal court.

5. Helped place Florida's Water and Land Legacy Amendment on the November 2014 general election ballot; our members collected over 25,000 signed petitions throughout the state of Florida.

6. Lead the push for SUNRAIL -- Central Florida's new commuter rail network.

7. Initiated curbside recycling in St. Petersburg, as well as permission for citizens to speak in Orange County Commission meetings.

8. Successfully persuaded Florida voters to defeat 9 out of 11 amendments on the 2012 ballot, many of which would have severely eroded the rights of citizens and/or de-funded local governments.

9. Worked with statewide environmental groups to successfully pressure the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to halt the sale of state-owned conservation lands.


Want to keep up to date on education issues around the country? The LWVUS Education Team recently launched a blog to promote the exchange of information on school reform. The site houses fact-based studies and posts with reference citations that contribute to a better understanding of different points of view about school choice issues. Florida's very own Sue M. Legg, Ph.D. heads up the blog.

Subscribe to the Education Issues blog at We welcome participation from both members and nonmembers.

Join us at our monthly Hot Topic Event to hear a speaker discuss timely issues and enjoy a meal together.

4th Wednesday of every month (except June/July)

Dates, times, location and speakers are announced right here!
New Member to LWVT?

Watch for an announcement of our next New Member Orientation!
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