Illinois is among the worst in the country when it comes to human trafficking. One advocate group claims Rockford is a big driving force.
It’s why the Rockford Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation held a human trafficking conference Friday at Heartland Community Church. Organizers invivted medical professionals to teach attendees the signs to look for when treating a patient. Group members say many victims are often submissive, have mental health disorders, or are branded with tattoos.
“They are crucial in the fact that they’re on the frontline with the survivor,” said RAASE Co-Founder Lori Johnson. “They can separate and create a short window of privacy with them to make sure that they’re safe and ask them the right questions.”
A few human trafficking survivors spoke at the conference. The alliance hopes to establish a protocol for medical professionals if they end up treating a victim.