You were an intern at CAASE a few years ago. How did that experience influence your own desire to help end human trafficking?
My experience interning at CAASE opened my eyes to the many ways necessary to end human trafficking and sexual exploitation. I came to CAASE for a policy-oriented internship, however since my background was in direct service social work, my understanding at that time of ending trafficking and sexual exploitation was very victim-centered, which is only one part of a much larger puzzle. At CAASE I learned the necessity and means to combat this issue on other levels such as curbing demand (for commercial sex), community outreach/awareness raising, prevention, changing laws, etc. The victories and hard work of CAASE and their partners continually inspires my ongoing work on social policy and social justice issues, such as the recent victory to eliminate a felony prostitution charges spearheaded by End Demand Illinois.
Why did you decide to Race for CAASE this year? Are you doing the Half Marathon or the 5k? Are you a longtime runner or a newbie?
I’m running the half marathon and this distance is new to me! I’ve been a “jogger” for several years, but up until recently 5 miles was my limit. The opportunity to run for CAASE, set and reach a tough personal goal, and raise awareness about the organization’s work was just the inspiration I needed to sign up.
It’s so generous of you to fundraise for CAASE. Have you received positive feedback and support from family and friends so far?
I have received positive feedback. People are impressed with the half-marathon commitment and interested in learning about CAASE. It’s been a great opportunity to share information about trafficking, especially with runners who love hearing about races.
If there was one thing you wanted people to know about your efforts to Race for CAASE, what would it be?
CAASE is a small organization, but so large in terms of the scope and impact of their work. I have no doubt that if it weren’t for CAASE and End Demand Illinois, prostitution would still be considered a felony offense in Illinois (instead of a misdemeanor) and minor victims of sex trafficking would still be considered juvenile delinquents instead of individuals in need of services and assistance. The chance to support runners in the race for CAASE is a chance for direct impact on sexual exploitation! All funders and runners should all be proud to contribute in any way they can.
Support Lindsey's efforts by donating on her page here. Or click here to view the full list of runners and donate to any of their pages here.
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