Kristi House’s Annual Breaking the Silence Luncheon
Thursday, October 28, 2021
Kristi House, the Children’s Advocacy Center serving Miami-Dade County, focused on online safety for kids at its 15th Annual Breaking the Silence Luncheon October 28.
Nicklaus Children’s Hospital was presenting sponsor of the event which raised funds for Kristi House services for children overcoming sexual abuse and sex trafficking trauma. Bradesco BAC Florida Bank was a major sponsor, with supporting sponsorships from Royal Caribbean Group, Regions, Miami-Dade County Commissioner Daniel Cohen Higgins and Miami-Dade County Commissioner Joe A. Martinez.
As a hybrid event, some guests attended in watch parties while others enjoyed lunch delivered to their homes. Ximena Kavalekas graciously hosted 50 guests at her beautiful store in the Design District and generously donated a portion of sales proceeds that day.
All guests were informed and inspired by a stellar panel of experts discussing online safety. Speakers included State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle; Miami-Dade County Schools Superintendent Albert Carvalho; Alex Loff, an FBI agent specializing in cyber crimes; and Titania Jordan, an author and specialist for the parental control app Bark.
“Online safety was a natural topic for us to focus on this year,” CEO Amanda Altman explained. “Many children we see were solicited and groomed by online predators while using their phones and devices in what parents thought was the safety of their homes. The statistics are frightening: 1 in 5 children will be solicited for sex or explicit photos from an online ‘friend,’ she said.
$100,000 in funds were raised for Kristi House’s services and prevention programs.
We have seen a sharp increase in children needing services as a result of sexual abuse and other trauma. Despite the pandemic, last year Kristi House served more victims — 1,940 children and their families — a growing number over all previous years. Many children we see are being solicited and groomed by online predators while using their phones and devices in what parents thought was the safety of their homes. The statistics are frightening: 1 in 5 children will be solicited for sex or explicit photos from an online “friend.”
Kara Zeder Rosen
Angelica Bertot Santibañez
Mary “Mimi” Shafey
Tina van der Ven
Brianna Ruiz Varas
Johanna Castellon Vega