Why is Rockford Ranked #2 In Illinois for Trafficking?

A recent news report claimed Rockford Ranks 2 in State in Human Trafficking.  Most of us are familiar with Chicago being known for trafficking, but why Rockford?

Traffickers will often move the women to different cities.  Sometimes they are transporting them to large events such as the Super Bowl.  Sometimes they may be on the move to avoid being noticed by law enforcement.  They may travel to another city in an effort to isolate their victims from friends and family so they are unable to reach out for help. They may even go to a different city attract new clients or recruit new women.  

Because traffickers often move their women around, the I-90 corridor is convenient to help them travel.  I-90 is known as the “Midwest Pipeline” and is used to transport victims of human trafficking across the country. With Rockford having easy access to this major interstate, it makes them a prime stop for traffickers who will move their victims from Chicago to Schaumburg to Rockford and then back to Chicago. Rockford may also provide a prime location for traffickers who are moving victims to North and South Dakota which has seen an increase in trafficking. 

Lori Johnson, Vice President of RAASE also attributes this statistic to budget cuts and the decrease in available law enforcement.  She states, "Because of the budget cuts with law enforcement, we have seen the numbers increase because they know that there is no one looking for them right now."

According to Polaris Project, trafficking happens in towns, suburbs and big cities. No demographic is immune and they have seen trafficking reported in all 50 states.