IL/WI Regional Disciples Women
401 Jefferson St
Bloomington, IL 61701
Dear Illinois and Wisconsin Regional Disciples Women,
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for allowing me to speak with your group on April 2 nd in Springfield, Illinois and for your generous donations to Braking Traffik. Among other initiatives, your $514.00 contribution will help Braking Traffik spread much needed human trafficking awareness to middle school and high school students in the Quad Cities and beyond, free of charge to schools.
As you may be aware, 100,000 American girls and boys are victims of sex trafficking in our country each year. This staggering number doesn’t take into account the thousands of young adults who are also forced into the commercial sex industry across our nation. This horrific crime not only happens in large cities, but also in smaller communities. According to research conducted by Braking Traffik, each week there are hundreds of advertisements for sex on multiple online sites in the Quad Cities. On average, over 40% of the individuals advertised have indicators in their ads that they are children under age 18. Nationally, the average age of children forced into the commercial sex industry is 11-14 years. And over the past two years, multiple minor victims of sex trafficking within that age range have been identified in the Quad Cities.
Recognizing that children are unaware of the threat of human trafficking, Braking Traffik developed a school awareness program called, “Any Kid Anywhere.” To date, we have educated over 5,000 middle and high school students, parents and teachers about the crime of human trafficking and how it affects thousands of American children each year. Through a co-presentation by Braking Traffik and local law enforcement, students learn how to protect themselves, what to do if they suspect they are or know of someone who is a victim of sex trafficking, and how to end demand for the commercial sex industry. We recently produced adocumentary film with testimony from three local survivors of sex trafficking. Our film, “Any Kid Anywhere: Sex Trafficking Survivor Stories” was made to be incorporated into our school program so that students can learn from the true experts – the survivors themselves. Our goal is to have Any Kid Anywhere implemented into every Quad City school district, but we have also professionally packaged our materials, which have now been distributed to schools in Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin and Nebraska.
In addition to working with area students, Braking Traffik has partnered with Davenport Rotary and the Quad City Lodging Association to spread awareness and training to Quad City hotels, We have also been instrumental in forming a multi-disciplinary team with law enforcement, county attorneys, juvenile courts, hospitals, social service providers and the Department of Human Services to devise a protocol for responding to cases of sex trafficking of minors and young adults. Finally, in addition to being members of statewide human trafficking task forces for both Iowa and Illinois, we are part of coalitions in both states addressing legislation. Recent Iowa and Illinois legislation has strengthened state human trafficking laws by establishing a Victims’ Fund and by increasing penalties for pimps and buyers who sell and purchase our children.
None of what Braking Traffik does would be possible without the generous support of donors like you, and I encourage you to sign up on our website, www.brakingtraffik.org, to receive our e-alerts and newsletters to stay current with our efforts. You can also contact us directly at 563-468-2381 should you have any questions. Fighting human trafficking must be collaborative to be successful. Please know how much we value your partnership!
Sarah Page Jones
NBA XPLOR Intern
2800 Eastern Avenue, Davenport, IA 52803