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Senator McConnaughay recognizes Rockford Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation as ‘Human Trafficking Hero’

This week, Senator McConnaughay recognizes Rockford Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation (RAASE) as a “Human Trafficking Hero.” RAASE is a grassroots organization that works to combat domestic human sex trafficking by raising awareness of this crime throughout the community.

“While looking into RAASE, one element of fighting human trafficking that they prioritize is working with law enforcement,” said Senator McConnaughay. “Efforts to engage law enforcement in this process is so vital, as it keeps communities safer and helps raise awareness about the issue of human trafficking.”

In the past two years, RAASE has partnered with local law enforcement to shift their efforts to an End Demand approach where purchasers (johns) and traffickers (pimps) are targeted and arrested. In 2009, work with local law enforcement led to the arrests of 65 prostituted people and 10 johns.  In 2014, law enforcement arrested only 10 prostituted people and 89 johns. Last year, RAASE presented their education program to over 800 community members, and in 2017 the organization has presented its program to an additional 500 people.

"Ending human trafficking will require a cultural shift where sexual exploitation is recognized for what it truly is - a violent, brutal crime,” said Jennifer Cacciapaglia, President and Co-Founder of RAASE. “A light must be shined on traffickers and purchasers of human beings in our community, so that they can no longer operate free from responsibility for their driving role in this criminal enterprise."

The RAASE organization is constantly making efforts to change the community’s perception of the crimes of human trafficking and sexual exploitation, to assist and protect victims from sexual exploitation, and hold the violators accountable. Through their efforts, RAASE provides a path toward restoration and healing for survivors.

Senator McConnaughay is proud to acknowledge RAASE as they continue to combat against human trafficking throughout Illinois. More information on RAASE can be found at http://raase.net/.

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