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Senator McConnaughay recognizes CAASE as ‘Human Trafficking Hero’

This week, Senator McConnaughay recognizes the Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation (CAASE) as her most recent “Human Trafficking Hero.”  CAASE pushes for a community free from all forms of sexual exploitation, including sexual assault and the commercial sex trade.

“Through CAASE’s policy initiatives and local outreach, this organization continues to bring awareness to the issues of human trafficking and sexual exploitation one community at a time,” said Senator Karen McConnaughay. “While raising awareness is one component of CAASE’s mission, it is a critical part. I applaud CAASE staff efforts to prevent sexual exploitation and help survivors seek civil litigation and criminal prosecution for perpetrators of sexual violence.”

CAASE’s mission focuses on the cultures, institutions, and individuals who profit from or support sexual exploitation. In response, the organization works on prevention methods, policy reform, community engagement, and legal services.

“CAASE approaches sex trafficking from the perspective that the majority of people involved in prostitution are customers—men who buy sex,” said Executive Director Kaethe Morris Hoffer. “Sex trafficking only exists because while there are very few adult women who truly choose to engage in prostitution, there are too many men willing to pay for sex—regardless of the harm they cause.  This mismatch between ‘supply’ and ‘demand’ is why so many unwilling but vulnerable girls and women are coerced or forced into the sex trade.”

CAASE engages public officials through their End Demand Illinois (EDI) campaign, encouraging criminal justice system interventions against pimps, traffickers, and buyers, and the provision of community based, survivor-led social services for people hurt by the sex trade. For several years this statewide campaign has helped local communities’ better respond to prostitution and human trafficking.

CAASE offers lectures and presentations on issues associated with sex trafficking, and promotes opportunities for survivor-leaders to engage in public education. With an emphasis on engaging the public through the arts, CAASE has produced plays, as well as film screenings, to reach audiences.

Senator McConnaughay congratulates CAASE on their hard work and strides they’ve made in combating human trafficking in Illinois. If you would like to know more about the Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation (CAASE), please visit http://caase.org/

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