Monday, January 8, 2018

The Center for Prevention of Abuse Creates Human Trafficking Services Department and Names Director of Human Trafficking Services

Long-time Center employee Sara Dillefeld to assume new leadership position directing The Center’s
newest department in ten years, expanding reach of services across Illinois

The Center for Prevention of Abuse is pleased to reveal the creation of its newest department, Human Trafficking Services, led by long-time Center employee, Sara Dillefeld. Prior to this position, Dillefeld served as the Director of Domestic Violence Family Centered Services at The Center for six years.

“We are very proud to add Human Trafficking Services to our departments and to appoint Sara to this new position,” said Carol Merna, Executive Director of The Center for Prevention of Abuse. “We have been serving high numbers of trafficked individuals with dollars from a Federal grant we received, so we knew there was a need for a new department. We are dedicated to providing necessary services all survivors of abuse, including labor and sex trafficking victims, all while educating and providing trainings for our community, and raising awareness about this important human rights issue.”

The Center received a Federal grant (Award #: 2016-VT-BX-K050) in late 2016 through a partnership with Heartland Human Health Care Services to offer an array services to human trafficking survivors – both sex and labor – identified in the Peoria, Tazewell, and Woodford Counties. The Center is the sanctioned, trained, and federally granted service provider for human trafficking services in Central Illinois, providing beds and shelter for survivors south of Kankakee, Illinois and Iroquois County.

“I am honored to move into this new position and help provide services for trafficking survivors,” said Sara Dillefeld, Director of Human Trafficking Services at The Center. “We have seen nearly 20 confirmed survivors of labor and sex trafficking, both foreign and domestic, since we began offering services. We take each instance case by case and do all we can to stay trauma informed and client-centered, providing an array of specialized services, including medical and legal assistance when necessary.”

Staff at The Center provides trainings on trafficking for law enforcement, medical providers, other state agencies, and community service organizations.
Services are available for any survivor of human trafficking regardless of race, gender identify, sexual orientation, religion, socioeconomic status, or immigration status. 
Indicators of Human Trafficking:

·         Being forced to work against your will;
·         Incurred a debt by using threats or forcing you to work to pay the debt;
·         Forced to work by using threats to harm you and/or your family;
·         Forced or pressured you into prostitution or to do other sexual acts;
·         Minor engaged in commercial sex regardless of force, fraud or coercion;
·         Confiscated your passport, birth certificate, or identification card to intimidate and control your movements

When victims escape a trafficking situation, the factors that made them vulnerable to exploitation are still present and The Center for Prevention of Abuse can provide services to help with those needs.  All services are free and confidential. A case manager is assigned to each client who assesses his/her needs and provides resources, services, and referrals so those needs are met.  All services are provided in the survivor’s language of choice. The services can include, but are not limited to:

·         Transportation assistance
·         Finding safe, affordable housing
·         Legal assistance
·         Medical and mental health services
·         Criminal justice advocacy
·         Linkage to available resources
·         Education
·         Job training/employment
To learn more about Human Trafficking or to receive training, please contact: Sara Dillefeld at The Center for Prevention of Abuse, 309-691-0551 or
Camille Yameen
The Center for Prevention of Abuse / 309.272.2904                                                                           

About The Center for Prevention of Abuse
The Center for Prevention of Abuse is the only agency authorized by the State of Illinois to provide a combination of domestic violence, human trafficking, sexual assault and adult protective services. Annually, more than 5,000 women, men and children, affected by violence and abuse are served by The Center. The Center offers school-based abuse prevention programming to students pre-K through college age, reaching out to about 30,000 young people each year. Through these activities, plus community presentations and trainings, The Center lives out its mission, which is to empower everyone – women, men and children – to live free from violence and abuse.  For more information about The Center, visit or call 309-691-0551. The crisis line is available 24/7 1-800-559-SAFE (7233).

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