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The Center for Prevention of Abuse Recognized as ‘Human Trafficking Hero’

Senator McConnaughay has recognized The Center for Prevention of Abuse as this week’s “Human Trafficking Hero” for their efforts to combat the crime. The Center for Prevention of Abuse’s purpose is to help all people – women, men, and children - to live free from violence and abuse.

“The great part about The Center for Prevention of Abuse is their goal to help everyone who has suffered from a form of sexual assault or abuse,” said Senator McConnaughay. “While they have important efforts to fight human trafficking, they also try to help anyone who has been affected by all forms of domestic violence.”

The Center for Prevention of Abuse is the only agency within the state of Illinois to provide comprehensive services to women, men, and children of all ages who have been affected by domestic violence, sexual assault/abuse, elder abuse or human trafficking. The Center provides adult protective services to disabled individuals between the ages of 18-59 who have suffered from abuse. The Center also provides school-based prevention education to over 33,000 area students annually, which includes programs on body safety, anti-bullying, conflict resolution and healthy relationships.

“The struggle against human trafficking is one of the most significant human rights issues facing this generation.  It is a disgrace of our shared humanity and tears at the very fabric of our society,” said Carol Merna, Executive Director, Center for Prevention of Abuse. “As a Central Illinois organization located at the crossroads of America’s Heartland, The Center for Prevention of Abuse is proud to be part of a network of service providers, a critical partnership, committed to caring for those who come for refuge, and doing our part to put an end to this heinous crime.  We thank Senator McConnaughay for shining a bright light on human trafficking.”

The Center also helps victims of these crimes by having two domestic violence shelters in Peoria and Pekin, officers in the Peoria, Tazewell, and Woodford County courthouses to assist with Orders of Protection, and abuser re-education classes are also offered. The Center has medical advocates available to respond to victims of sexual assault and domestic violence who obtain medical treatment in the emergency departments of area hospitals. Annually, The Center has more than 5,000 survivors of abuse seek safety and support, which is always confidential and cost-free for the survivors.

Senator McConnaughay is applauds the work of The Center for Prevention of Abuse, as they fight against human trafficking throughout Illinois. More information on The Center can be found at

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