In the greater Chicago area, between 16,000 and 25,000 women and girls are estimated to be exploited by human trafficking each year. The average age of entry into the commercial sex industry in the U.S. is 12 years old. Ninety-five percent of victims experienced physical or sexual violence during trafficking.
Those startling statistics are reasons why Illinois Senate Republicans took part in a video discussing the tragic effects human trafficking has on its victims. January 11 was observed as Human Trafficking Awareness Day, while the entire month of January is National Human Trafficking Awareness Month.
State Sen. Karen McConnaughay (R-West Dundee) has taken the lead on these issues by working with a number of her female legislative colleagues to raise awareness and help facilitate regional trainings that help law enforcement and local communities identify and address human trafficking situations.
Uniting on this issue, women Senators from both sides of the aisle have come together to sponsor House Bill 2822, which creates a state task force that will address ways to combat this terrible crime and the negative effects it has communities throughout Illinois. House Bill 2822 has passed the House and awaits further consideration in the Senate this spring.
To join Senate GOP’s human trafficking efforts please visit senategop.state.il.us. For social networking purposes, use the “hashtag” #ILAgainstHumanTrafficking.