If you or someone you know is being trafficked and looking for help, please contact the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1-888-373-7888 or text BeFree to 233733.
The Chicago Dream Center is actively involved in advocacy work and recovery for victims of trafficking.
Our approach is threefold:
1) ADVOCACY and AWARENESS – we offer training, workshops to community groups and churches as well as work directly with the courts to advocate on behalf of our clients.
2) OUTREACH and RESCUE through Rose of Sharon and Alabaster Dreams ministries.
3) RECOVERY Support through our networks and our residential recovery program
In all this, we seek to rescue and restore hope to those who are exploited.
To find out more about our work see our featured video on FOX 50 Chicago
What is human trafficking?
We invite you to watch this short video featured on NBC: How girls are recruited- Human Trafficking
Human trafficking is modern day slavery and is the fastest growing criminal industry in the world. It is the recruitment, transportation, or taking of persons by means of threat, force, fraud, or deception for the purpose of exploiting them. Victims of trafficking are forced or coerced into labor or sexual exploitation. Labor trafficking ranges from domestic servitude and small-scale labor operations to large-scale operations such as farms, sweatshops, and major multinational corporations. Sex trafficking is one of the most profitable forms of trafficking and involves any form of sexual exploitation in prostitution, pornography, and the commercial sexual abuse of children.
Who are the victims of domestic sex trafficking?
An estimated 300,000 American children are at risk for trafficking into the sex industry annually. Traffickers coerce women and children to enter the commercial sex industry through the use of a variety of recruitment and control mechanisms in strip clubs, prostitution,and brothels. Domestic sex traffickers (“pimps”) target vulnerable young girls, such as runaway, homeless, and foster-care children. The pimp seduces a new recruit with the lure of love, protection, wealth, designer clothes, fancy cars, and exclusive nightclubs. Sex traffickers use a variety of methods to “condition” their victims including starvation, confinement, physical abuse, rape, threats of violence to the victims and the victims’ families, forced drug use and the threat of shaming their victims by revealing their activities to their family and their families’ friends after recruitment. According to the United Nations $32 billion is made annually in the human trafficking trade, making it one of the most lucrative and fastest growing crimes globally. In Chicago alone an estimated minimum of 16,000 – 25,000 women and girls are victims of commercial sexual exploitation in Chicago every year.
What is the average age of entry into prostitution?
The average age of entry into prostitution is 12-14 years old in the U.S., according to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center. A minor involved in trafficking has a lifespan of 7-10 years. One reason that most girls end up working in prostitution is because many were victims of incest. Incest and other forms of abuse often drive a child to run away from home and become vulnerable to the slick tactics of pimps and other predators. One victim described the transition into prostitution, “I felt like, after having been abused at home, I had been trained for this all of my life.”
How are we involved?
Psalm 82:3 says, “Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed.” Rose of Sharon and Alabaster Dreams are taking this command seriously by conducting outreach to those being trafficked and stuck in other life-controlling issues with the goal of rescuing them and offering long term housing and supportive services at the Dream Center or other resources within our national network – Skyway Railroad.
Rose of Sharon conducts outreach every Friday night and Alabaster Dream conducts weekly outreach to those being trafficked in strip clubs, massage parlors and hotels. If you would like more information about these ministries or would like to be trained in outreach, click here for Rose of Sharon page and here for Alabaster Dreams. We network with other great organizations who are involved in education and advocacy against human trafficking.
ALSO see our testimony page to find out more updates about our work here and in India.
Contrary to a common assumption, human trafficking is not just a problem in other countries. Cases of human trafficking have been reported in all 50 states, Washington D.C., and some U.S. territories. Victims of human trafficking can be children or adults, U.S. citizens or foreign nationals, male or female.
According to U.S. government estimates, thousands of men, women, and children are trafficked to the United States for the purposes of sexual and labor exploitation. An unknown number of U.S. citizens and legal residents are trafficked within the country primarily for sexual servitude and, to a lesser extent, forced labor. (via U.S. Department of Education.)