Monday, March 9, 2015

UIS Speaker Series explores "Sex Trafficking in Illinois: What do we know and how do we know it?"

WHAT: The University of Illinois Springfield’s Engaged Citizenship Common Experience (ECCE) Speaker Series will discuss “Sex Trafficking in Illinois: What do we know and how do we know it?” The discussion will be led by national expert Jody Raphael, a senior research fellow and visiting professor at the Schiller DuCanto & Fleck Family Law Center at the DePaul University College of Law in Chicago.

WHEN: Tuesday, March 24, 2015 at 7 p.m.

WHERE: UIS Brookens Auditorium, located on the lower level of Brookens Library

DETAILS: Sex trafficking is the gendered exploitation of poor girls and women. Professor Raphael has been researching the sex trade industry for the past 15 years, seeking to determine how girls and women enter the industry of prostitution and whether they have been trafficked. She will discuss her findings and what is known and not known about sex trafficking and the traffickers in the Midwest. Participants will also learn what they themselves can do to end sex trafficking in Illinois.

Raphael is an attorney by training and has 25 years of experience practicing in legal services programs for the poor in the Midwest. She is a noted expert on violence against women and girls. Her specialization is on the effects of violence on poor women of color.

She is undertaking a multi-year study monitoring the Cook County Circuit Court’s response to domestic violence and sexual assault. During 2007-2008, she undertook research with women and girls in prostitution in Chicago who are controlled by a pimp or trafficker to better determine how women and girls are coerced into the sex trade industry in Chicago.

The topic is being explored as part of Women’s History Month. For a list of other upcoming ECCE Speaker Series events and more information, visit All events are free and open to the public.

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