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Senator McConnaughay recognizes Refuge for Women as ‘Human Trafficking Hero’

This week, Senator McConnaughay recognizes Refuge for Women as a “Human Trafficking Hero." The Refuge for Women organization assists women who have been victims of human trafficking to make sure they recover and heal from the immensely traumatic experience.


"Refuge for Women has one of the most comprehensive programs throughout the state to help survivors of human trafficking,” said Senator McConnaughay. “The comprehensive and compassionate assistance they provide for survivors is overwhelming. The level of service they provide underscores their dedication to truly helping people who have been hurt by sexual exploitation."

Refuge for Women was created to provide safety, healing, growth and faith for people who have suffered due to human trafficking. The organization provides a residential 9-12 month, three-phase program offering a new beginning for women who have been trafficked and exploited.  

The program is designed to help residents recognize their goals in life, to assist them in reaching those goals and facilitate healing. A resident can complete the program in nine months and may have the opportunity for an additional three months of aftercare.  The mission is for each woman to leave Refuge for Women with self-sustainability and a life marked with dignity and hope.

No little girl ever dreams of growing up to sell her body, but instead, something terrible has happened to her along the way that has brought her to that place,” said Karen Schultz, City Director in Chicago of Refuge for Women. “We are privileged to be able to partner with others in walking alongside these women as they heal and find hope for a new future.”

Refuge for Women formed in January 2009 in Lexington, Kentucky, along with their first safe house for women. Currently, Refuge for Women has one house in the Chicagoland area and has safe houses in three other cities.  Plans are in motion to open homes in three additional cities with an overall vision to be a national network of homes with 100 beds by 2020.  To date, Refuge has served more than 100 women, while receiving $3 million in donations contributed by over 3000 supporters.

Senator McConnaughay is proud to acknowledge the success of Refuge for Women in the continued fight against human trafficking Illinois and throughout the nation. If you would like to know more about Refuge for Women, please visit

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