Ashley Moody Launches Project Protect to Help Human Trafficking and Domestic Violence Survivors Feel Secure at Home

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, law enforcement officials and county Clerks of Court recently launched a new program in Florida to help human trafficking and domestic violence survivors feel more secure at home.

Project Protect provides doorbell cameras to survivors of domestic violence, human trafficking, stalking and sexual violence free of charge. When survivors are seeking protective injunctions against abusers at Clerks of Court offices, trained staff in Hillsborough and Martin Counties will now provide information about how to receive the doorbell cameras.

“Survivors of horrific crimes such as human trafficking and domestic violence, face traumatic experiences and may be extra wary of strangers and fearful of their abusers coming back to revictimize them. I am launching Project Protect in Hillsborough and Martin counties to help these survivors keep watch over who comes to their homes to provide additional peace of mind,” Moody said.

Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said, “I applaud Attorney General Moody and the Hillsborough County Clerk of Court Cindy Stuart for taking this step to protect and support to victims of domestic violence, human trafficking, stalking, and sexual assault. These crimes can have devastating impacts on individuals and their families, and we must do everything we can to help them. Programs like Project Protect are crucial in providing much-needed assistance and protection to those who have suffered from these heinous acts. We must continue to work together and support initiatives that help prevent and address these crimes.”

Florida Court Clerks & Comptrollers President and Martin County Clerk of Court & Comptroller Carolyn Timmann said, “Clerks of Court are often one of the first stops for potential victims seeking protection from domestic violence, stalking, human trafficking, or sexual violence. On behalf of Clerks across the state, we are excited to partner with the Attorney General’s Office and county sheriffs to get Project Protect resources in the hands of victims suffering from these crimes to make their homes safer and provide them with a greater sense of security as they move forward with their lives.”

Hillsborough County Clerk of Court & Comptroller Cindy Stuart said, “We are incredibly proud to be chosen as the pilot test for the Attorney General’s initiative. Our employees already connect domestic violence survivors with the proper services they need to help pave their path to protection every day. Project Protect will give our employees another tool to help victims by providing a measure of safety and security they may not have otherwise had.”

Martin County Sheriff William Snyder said, “We are excited by Attorney General Moody’s initiative and believe that it will materially enhance the safety of victims of violence.”

Informational materials about Project Protect will now be placed in Clerks of Court offices. Clerks of Court staff will connect survivors with local victim advocates who will help each survivor through the process of receiving the free doorbell cameras.

The program will be available in two pilot counties to start, with plans to expand the program statewide. Hillsborough County and Martin County will be the pilot counties to implement Project Protect.

According to the Florida Department of Children and Families, that more than 100,000 domestic violence cases were reported in 2020. Countless cases go unreported. Nearly one-third of women murdered each year in the United States are killed due to domestic violence. According to the latest reports from DCF, one in four women in the United States experience sexual violence, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner.

Hillsborough County survivors seeking more information can email victimspecialist@teamhcso.com or call (813) 247-8530.

Martin County survivors seeking more information can email itojeiro@mcsofl.org or call (772) 320-3064.

For more information about Project Protect, email Contact.VOCA@myfloridalegal.com or call (850) 414-3380.

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