Center for Prevention of Abuse awarded $758,000 grant to combat human trafficking

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PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — A grant from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) will be used to support programs for survivors of human trafficking and bolster the Central Illinois Human Trafficking Task Force.

In a press release, Congressman Darin LaHood (IL-18) said the DOJ awarded the grant to the Center for Prevention of Abuse in Peoria through the DOJ’s Enhanced Collaborative Model Task Force to Combat Human Trafficking.

“The Center for Prevention of Abuse does incredible work as a lead advocate in Central Illinois to support survivors of abuse and human trafficking,” said LaHood.

“This important DOJ funding will help strengthen existing programs to raise awareness for human trafficking, coordinate data collection, and a reporting system to track victims and support the Central Illinois Human Trafficking Task Force. I am grateful to the DOJ for recognizing and supporting the important efforts the Center for Prevention of Abuse is making  to help combat human trafficking in Central and Southern Illinois.”

CEO at the Center for Prevention of Abuse Carol Merna said the CFPA is grateful for the three-year grant. She said it will help expand trauma-informed and comprehensive services for survivors of both labor and sex trafficking, as well as fund education, prevention efforts, and partnerships.

“Since we opened our Human Trafficking Services department in 2018, we’ve provided free and confidential services to more than 75 survivors, 88 percent of whom are from Central Illinois,” said Merna. “The National Human Trafficking Hotline ranks Illinois in the top 10 for trafficking in the United States and we thank Congressman LaHood for his continued support of anti-trafficking efforts in the 18th Congressional District.”

LaHood has held three human trafficking roundtables in Quincy, Bloomington-Normal, and Springfield to raise awareness about human trafficking since he was elected to Congress.

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