Light 2020: Center for Prevention of Abuse to host conference, shed light on human trafficking

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PEORIA, Ill. — The Center for Prevention of Abuse is shining a spotlight on human trafficking. Light 2020 aims to bring together experts, educators and the general public together in one place.

The goal is to share best practices, preventative efforts and how to respond to the human trafficking crisis especially right here in Central Illinois.



For the first time, The Center for Prevention of Abuse is bringing together stakeholders in Illinois to shine a light on human trafficking.

“We’re helping people,” said Carol Merna, CEO of The Center for Prevention of Abuse. “We’re making a difference, not only in individual lives but throughout Central Illinois.”

“We’re really excited to bring together professionals in the field, community members, and experts to share their knowledge and resources,” said Director of Human Trafficking Services Sara Sefried.

Light 2020 is an educational conference that’ll be held at the Par-A-Dice Hotel Casino in East Peoria. The National Human Trafficking Hotline just released that hotline calls increased 25% from 2017 and 2018 – with more 10,000 cases reported across the country. Illinois (that still ranks 9th in the country) had 884 calls last year, resulting in nearly 300 cases.

“There’s an old saying that goes, ‘the eyes don’t see what the mind does not know,'” said Merna. “We want to train people to actually realize what they are seeing.”

The two day conference runs April 1-2 in 2020. Everyone is invited to attend the sessions. Light 2020 aims to bring together experts, service providers, educators, and more to the state to share best practices, innovative campaigns and technology, preventative efforts and measures, and survivor care and strategies to help prevent, combat, and respond to the human trafficking crisis.

“This is the largest event that the center has ever held to provide training,” said Sefried.

The Center for Prevention of Abuse is a leader in human trafficking awareness. This conference highlights its work to educate, sponsor survivors, and shine a light on the issue.

“Everyone will find something of value at this conference, so whether you’re a community member who just wants to learn a little bit more about this issue or you’re a professional who is already doing work with survivors of trafficking…you’ll find something at this conference.”

Sara Sefried, Director of Human Trafficking Services for the Center for Prevention of Abuse.

There is also a free community event on March 31, 2020. Those who go can learn about the basics of human trafficking, its impact locally, services for survivors, and more. This event is free to the public and takes place 5-6:30 p.m. Limited space available.

To register for the free event, CLICK HERE.

Registration for the two-day conference on April 1-2, 2020 is now open. Early bird pricing is $325 until February 1, 2020. Final registration price is $400. Group discounts and student discounts available.

To register for the two day event, CLICK HERE.


The Par-a-dice Hotel Casino is located at 21 Blackjack Blvd, East Peoria, IL 61611.

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