|July 31, 2019
Contact: Whitney Ray
Phone: (850) 245-0150
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Ashley Moody today announced the appointment of three individuals to the Direct Support Organization for the Statewide Council on Human Trafficking. Dr. Philip Toal, Savannah Parvu and Sara Mahoney will serve as the Attorney General’s appointees on the DSO board.
House Bill 851 gave the Attorney General the authority to appoint three members to the DSO for the Statewide Council on Human Trafficking. The statute directs the Attorney General to appoint a mental health expert, a human trafficking survivor and one at-large appointee.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “In our fight to end human trafficking, we are going to need innovative solutions. These exceptional appointees to the Council’s new Direct Support Organization will bring new, broad and diverse perspectives to our mission. I am confident they will become invaluable members of our team.”
Attorney General Ashley Moody’s mental health expert appointment is Dr. Philip O. Toal, a Florida state licensed mental health counselor. Dr. Toal has worked in the area of behavioral health care and substance abuse for more than 40 years. Dr. Toal’s work includes stress management, pain management and biofeedback, behavioral medicine, depression, HIV/AIDs, sex therapy and mental health and substance use disorders. Dr. Toal has worked extensively with human trafficking survivors and provides training on the subject on a local, state and national level.
The Attorney General’s human trafficking survivor appointment is Savannah Parvu. Parvu routinely shares personal experiences with the public to raise awareness of familial trafficking within the commercial sex trafficking arena. Parvu is a nationally recognized speaker on the subject and has become one of the foremost voices on human trafficking at the state capitol.
The Attorney General’s at-large appointment is Sara Mahoney, former New York City Press Secretary for New York Governor George Pataki. Mahoney served on the Board of Directors for 20 years of My Sisters’ Place, a New York agency that strives to end domestic violence and human trafficking through comprehensive services, advocacy and community education. Now a 10-year resident of Tampa, Mahoney serves on the Advisory Council of the U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking, a Tampa-based national organization that is fighting to end human trafficking by combating demand, rescuing victims and providing safe refuge for survivors.