Monday, September 12, 2011

Sex Trafficking and Prostitution Busts This Weekend in Chicago

 Two news stories broke over the weekend about charges related to sex trafficking and prostitution here in Chicagoland.

A 27-year-old Chicago woman was charged with involuntary sexual servitude of a minor and human trafficking for forced labor. She had allegedly forced a 16-year-old girl to have sex with strangers for money. The Chicago Police Department saw ads for the girl posted on the internet and discovered her during a sting. The girl was taken to a nearby hospital to be treated. (Story in the Chicago Tribune here).

A sting in Lansing, Illinois led to the arrest of four women, including one who was allegedly keeping a house of prostitution. The spa where they worked was found to be a front for a house of prostitution. The women in this case were offered services from the Cook County Sheriff’s Women’s Justice Programs. (Story in the Northwest Times here).

We applaud local law enforcement for their leadership in holding pimps and traffickers accountable, while also offering supportive services to survivors of the trade. While we don’t know the exact details of these cases, women in the sex trade sometimes turn to pimping and trafficking as a means of survival. This is the sad reality in a cycle of exploitation. By proposing an infrastructure of services and viable alternatives for women engaged in the sex trade, our End Demand Illinois campaign is working to address these issues.

You can stand up by asking your community to address demand in these situations. Who were the men buying sex in that spa? Who was purchasing a 16 –year-old girl for sex? These are the unmentioned aspects of these stories that must be talked about.

Learn how to take action by signing up for our End Demand action alerts here.

While the campaign is Illinois-specific, it has national influence and resources that can be used anywhere.
To see the new End Demand Illinois campaign website, visit 

(Photo Creative Commons by roger g1)

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