Rep. Keicher Bill to Help Underage Trafficking Victims Recover Advances

This week, legislation carried by State Representative Jeff Keicher (R-Sycamore) to help victims of human trafficking heal and move on with their lives following their trauma passed unanimously through the Illinois House’s Judiciary – Criminal Committee.

“Victims of human trafficking and sexual exploitation, especially children, represent our most vulnerable, and we need to do everything we can to help them through their recovery process,” said Keicher. “That’s why I’m proud to be carrying House Bill 5465. The legislation builds on a law we passed last year by creating an easier process for child victims of trafficking to have their juvenile records expunged or sealed as a result of any criminal acts they were forced to take part in while being abused.”

Improving support for victims of abuse has been something personal for Keicher since joining the General Assembly, as a family member who was abused as a child tragically died due to a lack of resources to help victims recover.

“One of the first steps in helping someone heal after immense trauma like sexual abuse is ensuring their past doesn’t follow them around, and I believe HB 5465 is an important component of helping victims heal,” continued Keicher. “I’m thankful that my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in the Judiciary – Criminal Committee agreed, and I hope to see the bill receive the same unanimous support when it comes before the full House of Representatives.”

Keicher also recently joined the Capitol Crimes Podcast to discuss HB 5465, as well as additional efforts he and several colleagues are working on to curb human trafficking in Illinois and improve access to recovery resources for victims.

Keicher also stresses how important it is to raise awareness about this issue by requesting that members of the media and public utilize the National Human Trafficking Hotline, 888-373-7888, to report any suspected trafficking taking place in our communities.

In addition, appreciative of his dedication and advocacy for victims, House Minority Leader Tony McCombie (R-Savanna) recently appointed Keicher to serve on Illinois’ Human Trafficking Task Force, which Keicher hopes will lead to more tangible policy changes to support victims.

Rep. Keicher serves the 70th District, which includes portions of DeKalb, Kane, and McHenry Counties. For more information about HB 5465Click Here.