Did you know that Rockford ranks number two in the state of Illinois for human trafficking? I didn't.

One local group wants to stop this and is raising awareness of the human traffic trade.

Oh my gosh, that just makes my heart sick and sad knowing that our beloved Forest City has a dirty underside of trading young teens in the human sex trafficking business.

In fact, according to statistics here in Winnebago County, "human trafficking related arrests grew from 10 to almost 90 from 2009 to 2014."

RAASE, Rockford Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation, tells WIFR that they want to stop this horrible act of human slavery. The key to stopping it is by knowing the signs and what to look for and RAASE has the tools to educate everyone in identifying those trapped in this cycle.

RAASE leaders can explain "exactly what sex trafficking is and listing the places where it happens the most." They "are also speaking about bills in place to try and fight trafficking, such as training cosmetologists to spot the signs and requiring truck stops to post the number for the national hotline to report trafficking. Leaders say speaking out about this issue is the first step towards stopping it."

The most common age group caught in the prostitution ring are those between the ages of 13 to 14 years old. Most are recruited unknowingly from online sorces. RAASE will train parents and teens to be aware of the language and terms that recruiters of the trade use to be aware of and not be caught by them.

To learn more about the human sex trafficking trade and what to do visit raase.net or their facebook page: Rockford Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation.