Anti-Sex Trafficking Hero a Guest Speaker at Tampa Fundraising Event

Selah Freedom will welcome Tim Ballard, inspiration behind “Sound of Freedom” movie

Sarasota, Florida, Sept. 19, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Florida is the #3 state for sex trafficking, and coupled with the timing of this past summer’s release of the blockbuster action drama film, Sound of Freedom that outperformed  big-budget features like Mission:Impossible at the domestic box offices, what better time to honor the inspiration behind the movie, Tim Ballard?

Selah Freedom, Florida’s largest anti-sex trafficking organization with the mission to end to sex trafficking in the U.S. and bring freedom to the exploited, will welcome Ballard at their annual fundraiser, “Light the Path” on October 25 at Armature Works in Tampa. Ballard is a former U.S. government agent and founder of Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R), the premier private organization in the world to take on child trafficking cartels. His team’s efforts resulted in the rescue and rehabilitation of over 7,000 children and women. He left O.U.R. in 2023. Ballard is portrayed by Sound of Freedom actor, Jim Caviezel.

Ballard’s history proves he’s a “man on a mission.” He spent over a decade working as a Special Agent for the Department of Homeland Security, where he was assigned to the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force as an undercover operative–helping dismantle child trafficking rings in the US and multiple foreign countries. In 2013. Tim is now Senior Advisor to The SPEAR Fund, a totally new approach that invites all anti-trafficking organizations and concerned people of the world to come together in unity to end human trafficking once and for all.

Welcoming Ballard on October 25th at their Light the Path fundraiser at Tampa’s Armature Works, Selah Freedom hopes to raise funds to fight sex trafficking through a truly illuminating experience as they light the path from NORTH to SOUTH at two separating fundraising events in October in Tampa, and again on November 9 at Embassy Suites in Sarasota.

Do you want to leave a lasting impact? Here’s how through the Light The Path sponsorship levels that begin with a VIP Meet & Greet with Tim Ballard. For more info, contact for custom Sponsor packages.

Supporting Selah Freedom will continue to enable our organization to further our cause to eliminate a $99 billion dollar Sex Trafficking industry. Since the beginning of 2022, our Awareness team has provided 99 awareness training events in eight counties in SW Florida, reaching a total of 4,100 adults on the  general issue of sex trafficking in the U.S., what Selah Freedom is doing to fight it, and how they can be a part of the solution.

In 2022, Prevention held over 300 training events, while educating and empowering nearly 6,000 youths and adults in 2022 (for a total of 27,347+ over the years).

Outreach is active on the streets and in the jails through sex trade support groups and case management. In addition, outreach partners with local law enforcement to be the first point of contact for those identified as sex trafficking victims or at a high risk of being recruited into sex trafficking. We are proud to also partner with the FBI, the United States Attorney's Office, multiple Human Trafficking Task Forces, and more to continue bringing life-saving solutions. In addition, the Outreach program has developed a treatment court called Turn Your Life Around (TYLA), with the goal of rehabilitation and not punishment. Graduation from this program results in charges administratively dismissed and the termination of probation (if applicable). Our Outreach program serves both male and female survivors with no age limit. Perhaps the most notable accomplishments in  2022 in Outreach include:

  • 16 survivor graduates from our Residential programs
  • 87% of survivor graduates of our Residential & Outreach Programs do not return to "the life."
  • Selah Freedom assisted 10 foreign national human trafficking survivor- 8 from Cuba (sex trafficking) + 2 from Turkey (labor trafficking)
  • A survivor testified against his trafficker who was found guilty of five felony charges including HT  of a minor and is facing 4 life sentences at sentencing at an upcoming hearing.

A holistic approach to restoration, Selah offers two campuses - a short-term home and a long-term campus with three homes located on it. The program is free of charge to survivors. The short-term "Assessment Home" goal is to develop a plan of action with a typical stay of 6-10 weeks. Here we provide food, clothing, medical care, trauma therapy, mental health counseling, and spiritual counseling. The long-term program allows up to two years of stay where residents receive the following: basic needs, medical and dental care, trauma counseling, mental health counseling, group therapy, art therapy, equine therapy, basic skills training, transportation, and spiritual counseling and recreational activities. In addition, survivors reunite and rebuild relationships with children and family. Selah Freedom runs one of the busiest safe homes in the state of Florida.

Consulting has made significant strides in its progress as a new program of Selah Freedom. The team has mentored over 60 organizations in 11 states and 3 countries to help them provide safe and sustainable programs in their communities. This program helps quickly equip organizations across the county to help fight sex trafficking and end exploitation.


Andrea Martone
Selah Freedom
(917) 929-0527

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