PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) – Community members are marching and protesting child and human trafficking across the country.

The Save Our Children movement has recently received national attention, spreading throughout social media and resulting in worldwide hashtags and protests.

The movement aims to raise awareness of child abuse and human trafficking.

Brenna Fort organized Peoria’s Save Our Children march Saturday afternoon. She said her son was almost taken last year near the Peoria Riverfront area. She said this traumatic instance sparked her interest in the movement.

“When I started really looking into the stuff with human and child sex trafficking, I was shocked about a lot of things that I came about,” Fort said. “I wasn’t aware it was as bad as it is.”

Fort said after she realized how big of a problem child trafficking is in the world, she wanted to organize an event locally to make sure everyone else knows as well.

The march saw dozens coming out and gathering at the Peoria Gateway Building. Many brought their children out to take part in the experience. They held signs denouncing child abuse and took to the streets to protest.

Fort said this is a movement that should touch the hearts of everyone.

“This is so important to me because it makes my stomach churn to know that those things can happen to my kids and it’s very well possible it could happen to any of our kids,” Fort said. “That’s why I think this is a very important movement that a lot of people should come together for because it’s something we all should agree on. Children they don’t deserve this, they don’t.”

She said her research shows that at least 800,000 children go missing every year. Fort said the more people realize this is an issue, the better chance they’ll have stopping crimes against children.

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