LaHood Announces $758,920 Grant Award for Center for Prevention of Abuse
PEORIA, IL – Congressman Darin LaHood (IL-18) today announced that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) awarded the Center for Prevention of Abuse in Peoria a $758,920 grant award to expand and strengthen victim service programs for survivors of human trafficking and bolster the Central Illinois Human Trafficking Task Force. The funding was awarded through the DOJ’s Enhanced Collaborative Model Task Force to Combat Human Trafficking.
“The Center for Prevention of Abuse does incredible work as a lead advocate in central Illinois to support survivors of abuse and human trafficking,” said Rep. LaHood. “This important DOJ funding will help strengthen existing programs to raise awareness for human trafficking, coordinate data collection and a reporting system to track victims and support the Central Illinois Human Trafficking Task Force. I am grateful to the DOJ for recognizing and supporting the important efforts the Center for Prevention of Abuse is taking to help combat human trafficking in central and southern Illinois.”
“As the lead victim-service agency in the Central Illinois Human Trafficking Task Force, we are proud at the Center for Prevention of Abuse to receive this three-year grant that will help us expand our good work, providing trauma-informed and comprehensive services for survivors of both labor and sex trafficking, as well as fund important education, prevention efforts, and crucial partnerships,” said Carol Merna, CEO at the Center for Prevention of Abuse. “Since we opened our Human Trafficking Services department in 2018, we’ve provided free and confidential services to more than 75 survivors, 88% of whom are from Central Illinois. The National Human Trafficking Hotline ranks Illinois in the top ten for trafficking in the United States and we thank Congressman LaHood for his continued support of anti-trafficking efforts in the 18th Congressional District.”
Rep. LaHood has been a strong voice in the fight to combat human trafficking. Since being elected to Congress, he has held three human trafficking roundtables in Quincy, Bloomington-Normal, and Springfield to raise awareness about the heinous crime. In January of 2019, Rep. LaHood introduced legislation to recognize National Trafficking and Modern Slavery Prevention Month.
The purpose of this program is to develop, expand, or strengthen victim service programs for victims of human trafficking, to include enhancing the capacity of law enforcement and other stakeholders to identify victims and provide justice for those victims through the investigation and prosecution of their traffickers. This award made to Illinois State Police and the Center for Prevention of Abuse is funded under FY 2020 Enhanced Collaborative Model Task Force to Combat Human Trafficking which is designed to expand anti-trafficking efforts within Central Illinois. The Task Force will focus on: the development of interagency partnerships; additional professional trainings and public awareness; increased, comprehensive, trauma-informed victim services; support for local, state, and federal law enforcement; coordinated data collection and reporting system to track victims and offenders; and strategic victim identification to better equip the region to identify and respond to the crime and crisis of human trafficking.
The Center for Prevention of Abuse (CFPA) is the only agency authorized by the state of Illinois to provide a combination of domestic violence, sexual assault, sexual abuse, human trafficking, and adult protective services for survivors of abuse. Annually, CFPA serves more than 6,000 women, men and children, affected by violence and abuse. CFPA offers school-based abuse prevention programming to students pre-K through college age, reaching about 36,000 young people each year. Through these activities, plus community presentations and trainings, CFPA lives out its mission to help everyone – women, men and children – live free from violence and abuse. For more information about CFPA, visit www.centerforpreventionofabuse.org or call 309-691-0551. The crisis line is available 24/7 1-800-559-SAFE (7233) and all victim services are free and confidential.