Human trafficking by the numbers, Center for Prevention of Abuse to host an educational conference

Local News

PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — A report last month of a strange van in an East Peoria grocery store parking lot turned out to be a false alarm, though it doesn’t mean people shouldn’t be on guard from strangers. The situation arises the question of human trafficking and the signs you should be aware of.

The Center for Prevention of Abuse said Illinois reported just under 300 trafficking cases in 2018. Nationally, it said a child is trafficked every two minutes. CEO of the organization, Carol Merna, said trafficking is the exploitation of a human being for profit.

Illinois ranks 9th when it comes to reports of human trafficking on the national human trafficking hotline. We know that it exists. We know that it happens in both rural and urban areas. We know that it’s vulnerable people that are approached but we also know that it happens in familes.”

Carol Merna, CEO | The Center for Prevention of Abuse

She also explained how your gut feeling is a reliable indicator that a situation you’re in may not be safe.

We want people to be safe. Safety is paramount and when people suspect something is wrong, and the fear is very real, we would never discount that. So we want people to be mindful of their surroundings.”

Carol Merna, CEO | The Center for Prevention of Abuse

Since opening its human trafficking department, the Center For Prevention Of Abuse has decided to put prevention education at the forefront. It’ll be hosting its first educational conference on April 1-2 at the Par-A-Dice Hotel in East Peoria.

Light 2020 aims to bring together experts, educators, and the public all in one location.

The center will provide ways to help prevent, combat, and respond to the human trafficking crisis.

To register, CLICK HERE.

To register for the free event, CLICK HERE.

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