In her April Human Trafficking Heroes Spotlight, Senator McConnaughay honors the great work of Reclaim13, which is based out of Downers Grove, Illinois.
"The mission of Reclaim13 is to end the cycle of sexual exploitation. The Reclaim13 prevention and education program works in locations around Chicagoland where children are most vulnerable and at-risk. We partner with existing community organizations, and together we work to protect children, enabling them to grow up in the healthiest environment possible.
13 is the average age of children induced into commercial sexual exploitation, but their young lives already contain many more episodes of maltreatment and neglect than children who grew up in a safer world. We want to help exploited children before the potential consequences of abuse can take hold and doom them to a short, unhealthy life. We want to stop the cycle of harm. We want to give them a safe place where we can show them there are people who really do care.
Reclaim is our goal of bringing these children back from the path defined by those who have exploited them. Together, we can confront and put an end to the injustice of sexual exploitation facing our children. For children who have suffered sexual exploitation, we can help them to begin their healing journey to reclaim the joy of childhood and the hope of a meaningful life.
We recently opened Cherish House, our home for minor victims of sexual exploitation between the ages of 10-21 years. Cherish House provides girls, recovered from sex trafficking, with a safe place to heal and reclaim a life filled with hope and the ability to pursue their dreams.
The Reclaim13 prevention program has components aimed at children and parents.
For children, we:
- Teach the necessary skills to identify, avoid, and handle high risk situations that could lead to abuse.
- Provide prosocial behaviors aimed at developing healthy, non-oppressive relationships.
- Help those children who already may have encountered abuse to seek help.
- Provide early messages to boys and girls about respecting and caring for one another.
For parents, we:
- Provide information about the exploitation of children within their communities.
- Teach them how they can protect their children.
If you are interested in becoming a part of our community of compassion, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click on the icon above to learn more or connect with Reclaim 13.
Center for Human Rights of Children
Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation (CAASE)