The Center for Prevention of Abuse Accepts $20,000 Grant from Ameren Illinois for Human Trafficking Curriculum in Peoria Public Schools

Generous gift helps to fund new programming to prevent human trafficking in Central Illinois

Attached photograph from left to right: Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat, Superintendent, Peoria Public Schools; Betty Zilkowski, Principal, Manual Academy; Richard Mark, President and Chairman, Ameren Illinois; Carol Merna, Executive Director, Center for Prevention of Abuse; Laura Kowalske, Director of Prevention Education Services, Center for Prevention of Abuse; Sara Sefried, Director of Human Trafficking Services, Center for Prevention of Abuse

Photo Credit: Center for Prevention of Abuse

Peoria, IL – The Center for Prevention of Abuse (CFPA) received a $20,000 donation from Ameren Illinois to help fund its new human trafficking prevention education programming in Peoria Public Schools (PPS). Manual Academy is the first site in the Greater Peoria Area to receive this brand-new programming beginning Wednesday, October 10, 2018 in an effort to educate students on this important human rights issue and to raise awareness about the prevalence of human trafficking in Central Illinois.

The programming is a four-week curriculum funded in part by a generous contribution from Ameren Illinois through the Ameren Cares initiative. The programming provides information on the definition of human trafficking, the types and prevalence, common venues, risk factors and vulnerability, tactics used by traffickers, and safety planning and resources.

CFPA introduced its Human Trafficking Services department in January 2018 and remains the only Federally granted, sanctioned, and trained provider of human trafficking services south of Kankakee, Illinois, and the only Federally granted, sanctioned, and trained provider of beds for survivors of human trafficking south of Chicago, Illinois. Since January 2018, CFPA has served nearly 30 trafficking survivors ranging from 11 years old to 62 years old.

Through its Prevention Education services, the Center for Prevention of Abuse facilitates programs in more than 105 schools and learning communities in Peoria, Tazewell, and Woodford Counties each year to build safe and peaceful learning environments. Last year, CFPA reached more than 34,000 students with age-appropriate, evidence-based, and comprehensive programming on social and emotional learning, child sexual abuse prevention, bullying prevention, healthy relationships, teen dating violence, and more. 

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