National Human Trafficking Prevention Month

SPRINGFIELD — In observance of January as Human Trafficking Awareness Month, State Senators Mattie Hunter and Julie Morrison are highlighting the importance of raising awareness about human trafficking and uplifting resources to support survivors.

“Human Trafficking Awareness Month serves as an important reminder to become familiar with the signs of trafficking — a crime that impacts hundreds in our state, often those who find themselves in vulnerable situations,” said Hunter (D-Chicago). “In addition to identifying red flags, it is important that we continue to support survivors and advance policies that prevent situations like these from happening.”

Human trafficking refers to crimes involving the use of force, fraud or coercion to profit of off the exploitation of adults or children by compelling them to perform labor or engage in commercial sex acts. Human trafficking is an issue that is rampant and often undetected in Illinois and across the country.

Warning signs that a person is involved in human trafficking include:

  • Disconnected from family, friends, community organization or houses of worship
  • A sudden or dramatic change in behavior
  • Being disoriented or confused, or signs of mental or physical abuse
  • Youth engaged in commercial sex acts
  • Child has stopped attending school
  • Fearful, timid or submissive behavior
  • Indications the person is being denied food, water, sleep or medical care
  • Defers to someone they are with or appear to be controlled by another person
  • No freedom of movement — where they live or where they go
  • Unsuitable or unstable living conditions

As members of the Illinois Human Trafficking Task Force, Hunter and Morrison collaborate with their colleagues and state agencies to develop strategies to combat human trafficking in Illinois, raise awareness and support research to understand the disproportionate impacts of human trafficking on historically marginalized groups.

“It is crucial that we take the opportunity to educate ourselves about the signs of human trafficking to better protect vulnerable individuals in our communities and create safety nets for survivors of human trafficking,” said Morrison (D-Lake Forest). “We will continue to work with IDHS, law enforcement and local organizations to target human trafficking and create a safer Illinois for all.”

If you are a victim of human trafficking or suspect human trafficking, please contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888, by text at 233733 or visit