JCAST Chicago October Blog
Ending Violence in Lake County- A Call to Action
Over the summer, The Partnership for a Safer Lake County in conjunction with Leading Healthy Futures released a report attempting to document the occurrence and prevalence of violence in the county as well as the challenges in measuring and combating it.
A section of the
highlighted the prevalence of sex trafficking in the county. Researchers reached out to government officials including State Representative Barbara Wheeler, who reported the growing prevalence and lucrative nature of human trafficking in northern Illinois. Traffickers use the internet and legal businesses including massage parlors as facades. They locate in areas with zoning laws that do not heavily regulate these businesses (e.g. licensure, lighting, dress codes and hours of operation). It is estimated that 50 percent of sex trafficked victims are also involved in legal "sex-orientated" businesses (e.g. strip clubs, escort services, etc).
The report found sex trafficking occurred throughout the county but is concentrated in the cities of North Chicago, Waukegan, and Gurnee. These areas also have the highest rates of gang activity. The report identified research indicating that as much as half of the gangs in the Chicago area are involved in sex trafficking including the trafficking of minors.
In wealthier communities, such as Deerfield, Highland Park, and Lake Forest sex trafficking is more often conducted in massage parlors and other sexually related businesses including strip clubs, adult stores, escort services, and erotic spas. Many of these businesses use the internet including backpage.com and rubmap.com to advertise their services. Often the ads are made to look like the women are "working independently, when in fact they are victims of sex trafficking more often than is recognized or understood." The report emphasized the lack of understanding and enforcement and outlined the need for more training for community leaders and first responders.
Become a JCAST Chicago Intern!
Every year JCAST Chicago partners with college and graduate student interns. Interns research new laws and trends as well as work with staff and volunteers to increase awareness and knowledge of sex trafficking in the Chicagoland area. These opportunities pay a small stipend and offer flexible hours.
For a copy of the intern job description or for more information, c
ontact Gayle at
. We look forward to talking with you.
Selah Freedom Events
*Please note that not all of these events are sponsored or hosted by JCAST Chicago but are listed here as a convenience to those who might be interested.
Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children 101
Wednesday, October 18th from 7:30 - 9:30 PM
This multi-media educational training offered by Selah Freedom is open to the community. Receive in-depth training around the issue of sex trafficking and learn more about how Selah Freedom serves this population. All Selah Freedom volunteers are required to participate in CSEC 101.
Volunteer Connect Meeting (in the city)
Saturday, October 21st, 9:30 - 10:30 AM
Fourth Presbyterian Church
This is an optional but highly encouraged meeting that gives you an
opportunity to meet staff, ask questions and learn more about all of the
volunteer opportunities at Selah Freedom.
Refugees, asylum seekers, and survivors of trafficking participated in a Forced Migration Photovoice Project this summer. Their stories and photographs highlighting their experiences are on exhibit through March 2018.
Other Events of Interest:
Family Action Network (FAN)
Sex Trafficking Events
FAN has another great lineup of events this fall. We want to highlight two events featuring a panel on Sex Trafficking on
November 9, 2017 at Noon Loyola College of Law (RSVP required) & 7:00 pm
at New Trier, Northfield campus. Both events featuring: Susan Bissell, Ph.D., Chief of Child Protection, UNICEF; Elizabeth Fisher, Co-Founder, President/CEO of Selah Freedom; Hon. Virgina Kendall, U.S. District Court Judge for the Northern District of Illinois, and co-author of Child Exploitation and Trafficking: Examining the Global Challenges and the U.S. Responses (2011); and Katherine Kaufka Walts, J.D., Director, Center for the Human Rights of Children, Loyola University Chicago.
Chicago Bar Association,
Sex Trafficking Committee
JCAST Chicago is excited to announce the Chicago Bar Association's new Human Trafficking Committee. The Committee is chaired by Kathryn Liss. Committee meetings are held on the 2nd Tuesday of the month at 12:15pm.
Upcoming speakers include: 11/14 - Lisa Palumbo from LAF; 1/9 Hon. Virginia M. Kendall & Assistant US Attorney Bethany Biesenthal. In December and April the Committee is planning service projects within the community in lieu of a monthly meeting. For more information, email: Kathryn at: email@example.com
Toiletry and Gift Card Donations Needed Year-round to support young women trafficked in Chicago that are helped by the Dreamcatcher Foundation.
Donation Drop off locations:
Encore & More: 1107 Central Ave, Wilmette
Hadassah Thrift Shop, 405 Lake Cook Rd, Deerfield
Hadassah Office, 60 Revere Dr #800, Northbrook
Temple Sholom, 3480 N Lake Shore Dr, Chicago
If you or your organization would consider organizing a collection drive or a packing program, please contact Donna Fishman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Street Dignity Bag Packing List:
These items are needed in small, travel sizes. One of each item will be packed in a gallon ziploc "street survival" bag. These items may be packed in ziploc or other small tote bag, or donated in bulk. ( You might even Ask your local businesses if they have items to donate and share this list.)
toothbrush and toothpaste (*ask your dentist!)
granola or power bar
pack of tissues
Gallon Ziploc Bags
$5 McDonald's Gift Cards
Prevention Bag Packing List:
The Dreamcatcher Foundation regularly visits girls living in at-risk communities, including teen-aged single mothers. These items may be packed in a tote bag and donated in bulk.
liquid body soap
lotion or moisturizer
perfumed body spray
Gift or tote bags
*Bulk items, hotel toiletries and gift cards to McDonalds ($5), Target, Dollar Store, CVS or Walgreens (any amount) are always welcome*
JCAST Chicago on the Move
JCAST Chicago has been busy giving presentations across the Chicago Metropolitan area, for Jewish and secular groups. Please help JCAST secure speaking "gigs" at Jewish organizations. Contact Donna at email@example.com
with names and contacts at synagogues, chavurot, and other Jewish organizations.
Upcoming JCAST Chicago Presentations
10/22/2017- JCAST Chicago is excited to offer two educational sessions at Hadassah's Fall Conference at the Northbrook Renaissance Hotel. We will be training leaders from Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, and Indiana.
Support JCAST Chicago Today!
Donate now and support critical learning and engagement opportunities throughout Chicagoland.
and Thank you!
JCAST Chicago is governed by a Steering Committee of dedicated individuals. If you would be interested in serving on the steering committee or one of our Action Teams, email
Steering Committee Co-Chairs:
Donna Fishman, NCJW
Susan Rifas, JUF, JWF
Ronna Ash, Hadassah
Susan Block, Hadassah
Cathy Carmody, NCJW
Donna Gutman, NCJW, ICJW,
Sara Kalish, Chicago Parks Foundation
Betsy Lazerow, JCFS, JCARES
Carole Levine, NCJW
Rae Luskin, NCJW
Sherry Petlin, NCJW
Bonnie Ribet, NCJW
Heather Ross, NCJW, Hakafa
Mara Ruff, JUF
Stacy Saef, NCJW
Joan Zahnle, NCJW CNS
Rochel Ray & Samantha Spolter,
Gayle Nelson, Engagement and Development Director
The Partnership for a
Safer Lake County
JCAST Chicago is grateful for our many Coalition members including The Partnership for a Safer Lake County. Created in late 2015, The Partnership is a multi-disciplined network of 32 individuals and organizations committed to ending violence, including child abuse, elder abuse, sexual assault, human trafficking, LGBTQ crimes, and domestic violence in Lake County through public awareness, coordination of services, and advocacy.
Earlier this year, The Partnership released a report measuring the specificity and amount of violence in the County. The report examined nine types of violence and found overall violence is decreasing as it is across the country with the exception of violent crimes including murder. A section of the report examines sex trafficking. For more information, please see this month's blog.
In addition to identifying trends in violence in the community, The Partnership is dedicated to providing technical assistance to assist and educate first responders and other government leaders. Partnership leaders are in the initial stages of creating a speakers' bureau consisting of nonprofit leaders and others who have expertise or knowledge of criminal activity in Lake County, how to reach out to particular communities, or other critical information. If you are interested in being a speaker or hosting a presentation, please contact Joan Zahnle at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Partnership is also planning conversations across the county between diverse populations. Their goal is to build avenues of communication and better understanding between communities and neighbors. If you would like to participate, please contact Joan Zahnle at email@example.com.
Here are some things you can do today to take action against Sex Trafficking:
* Sign up for Action Alerts
Visit our website
to keep up-todate with the issues most relevant to you.
for JCAST Chicago, NCJW or Sex Trafficking Action Alerts today!
* Send a Letter
Send a letter calling on local leaders and law enforcement to enforce laws and end demand.
Visit our website
to print out constructions and a sample letter.
* Hang a Flyer
Victims may visit bus stations, grocery stores, currency exchanges, and gas stations. Hang a poster featuring the hotline for the National Human Trafficking Resource Center. and help them escape to safety!
Visit our website
for more information and to print flyers.
* Write a Letter to the Editor
Write a letter to the editor when you learn publicly about arrests of perpetrators of sex trafficking. Commending the media, the police departments involved, and local authorities keeps sex trafficking in the news and encourages more enforcement.
Visit our website
for a sample letter to the editor.
Sex Trafficking: Inside the Business of Modern Slavery by Siddharth Kara
Girls Like Us: Fighting for a World where Girls are not for Sale by Rachel Lloyd
The Johns: Sex for Sale and the Men Who Buy it by Victor Malarek
The Natashas: Inside the Global Sex Trade by Victor Malarek
Women Hold up Half the Sky: Turing Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Sheryl Wudunn and Nicholas Kristof
IN PLAIN SIGHT Podcast
to End Human Trafficking Each week, the IN PLAIN SIGHT Podcast features a an inspiring speaker who may educate you in your work to end human trafficking around the globe.
for a link to the website.