JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow will host a Child Sex Trafficking Summit in September during which Will County community leaders will discuss steps already being taken to protect our children and outline future strategies to end this horrific exploitation.
The summit, which the State’s Attorney is hosting in conjunction with the Will County Children’s Advocacy Center and the National Criminal Justice Training Center, will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on September 7 at the Renaissance Center, 214 N. Ottawa St., in downtown Joliet.
The summit is designed for law enforcement officials, educators, business and industry leaders, prosecutors, child welfare advocates/DCFS, probation professionals, victim services advocates, and elected officials.
State’s Attorney Glasgow established the Will County Children’s Advocacy Center in 1995 to improve investigations into child sexual abuse. Children who have been sexually abused come to the Center to provide recorded statements to specially trained and compassionate forensic interviewers. The Center also provides counseling as well as referrals to other medical and social services so the healing process for these vulnerable victims can begin.
“The Children’s Advocacy Center has been working for more than two decades to provide hope, healing, and justice for abused children,” State’s Attorney Glasgow said. “Through this summit, we are expanding our efforts to end the systematic sexual exploitation of our children and remove dangerous child predators from our community.”
As part of this initiative, State’s Attorney Glasgow and the Children’s Advocacy Center have formed a Will County Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Coalition. The State’s Attorney also has designated a specialized Child Sexual Exploitation Advocate to provide case management support and advocacy to youths who have experienced commercial sexual exploitation.
The State’s Attorney also implemented a high technology Crimes Against Children Unit in 2012 to track and prosecute predators who trade child pornography online. Research has documented disturbing links between those who exploit children by collecting and trading sexually abusive images and those who are hands-on abusers. The unit has uncovered a number of cases involving defendants who were actually producing child pornography and who were hands-on abusers. The team’s critical work has enabled the Children’s Advocacy to identify and help children even before they make an outcry of sexual abuse or a law enforcement/DCFS investigation begins.
September’s Child Sex Trafficking Summit will include facilitated discussions on identifying and rescuing victims of child sex trafficking as well as services that are available to victims. State’s Attorney Glasgow will provide lunch to everyone who attends.
The summit is free. However, participants must register online in advance at willcountycac.org. Deadline to register is Aug. 24. For additional information, call (815) 723-1630.