Twenty-four hour emergency services specifically for victims and survivors of human trafficking in the Chicago area do not currently exist. Therefore, after extensive research, Traffick Free is officially moving forward to fill a need in this gap. While Traffick Free’s current strategic initiatives in producing the Freedom Forum, 5k Run Against Traffick, and Sex ReBranded will continue in 2014, the organization will be shifting its focus to providing a trauma-informed and survivor-informed drop-in center.
The Center for Impact Research found that an upward estimate of 25,000 women and girls are commercially sexually exploited each year in Chicago. Based on this and other research, Traffick Free has spent years learning from local and national non-profit organizations, and law enforcement officials, to understand the critical components of an effective drop-in center, such as properly trained staff, client-centered services, and a co-locating model. Utilizing our volunteer-driven organizational model, as well as the collaborative efforts of local experts, Traffick Free plans to operate the drop-in center at times that other organization’s drop-in centers are not open, such as overnight and holiday hours. With enough resources, the center will be open around-the-clock.
In this next phase, Traffick Free is looking to partner with individuals, community organizations and corporations that are committed to the establishment of a drop-in center. We have numerous ways to get involved, including assistance with securing a location, providing renovation skills, and offering supplies. Interested parties should contact [email protected].
Traffick Free is a faith-based organization that seeks to provide the greater metropolitan area of Chicago with tools and sustainable programs to combat human trafficking and transform the lives of victims, perpetrators and communities. Since its inception in 2011, Traffick Free has led the way in producing education and awareness events tailored for audiences of various ages and various levels of expertise on the issue of human trafficking. More information can be viewed at traffickfree.org.