SPRINGFIELD – On Wednesday, legislation co-sponsored by State Representative Brad Stephens (R-Rosemont) passed out of the House to help victims of human trafficking seek justice. House Bill 4593 was introduced by State Rep. Chris Bos (R-Lake Zurich) to prevent sexual predators who solicit sex from underage individuals or people with intellectual disabilities from claiming they did not know the victim was underage or had an intellectual disability. This would make it the responsibility of the perpetrator to know the age of the individual they are soliciting for sex.
“I proudly co-sponsored Rep. Bos’ legislation to combat human trafficking and am pleased to see it passed unanimously out of the House,” said Rep. Stephens. “We need to protect our vulnerable populations from sexual predators and this legislation places responsibility on perpetrators. This is a powerful step towards making Illinois a safer place and eliminating this egregious practice from our state.”
House Bill 4593 passed the House unanimously with 110 “Yes” votes and bipartisan support. According to Homeland Security, human trafficking involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act. Traffickers might use violence, manipulation, or false promises of well-paying jobs or romantic relationships to lure victims into trafficking situations.
If you or someone you know is being forced to engage in any activity and cannot leave, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888, or Text “HELP” or “INFO” to 233733.