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Child Abuse Awareness Luncheon in Tampa focuses on human trafficking

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TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

The annual Child Abuse Awareness Luncheon happening Friday in downtown Tampa is focusing on human trafficking and Tampa Bay area youth.

Florida is 3rd in the nation for human trafficking and many times children are targets when it comes to sex trade.

The luncheon presented by Friends of Joshua House Foundation and benefiting Joshua house, which is one of the Children's Home Society of Florida's premier residential programs for children abused, abandoned and neglected.

"Our children are not for sale", said De De Grundell,  chief executive of Friends of Joshua House. 

Grundell says the first time Joshua House had to hire armed security to protect children at the center.  "Often run-a-ways are targets of pimps who trick them into believing they care," Grundell said.

Holly Austin Smith, a survivor of child trafficking and consultant of AMBER Alert and Detective James McBride, the Director of the Clearwater/Tampa Area Task Force on Human Trafficking will be the key note speakers at the luncheon Friday.

For more informatiopn about the luncheon visit the luncheon's Web page.

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