Touching the Human Side of Things, May 1921


Touching the Human Side of Things.


An illuminating list of things accomplished by the Illinois Vigilance Association in its fight for social cleanliness is contained in a summary just issued by that organization.

Five thousand warning cards for girls have been placed in railroad stations and other public places telling of dangers to be avoided and naming various agencies that will advise and befriend girls who need assistance. Hundreds of persons unfamiliar with the pitfalls of a great city have thus been reached and protected from possible disaster.

Over 1,000 unfortunate girls brought into the Morals court have found a friend in the association's woman officer in that court and have been helped in their effort to return to a normal life. Temporary shelter in a private home and material aid have often been provided and there, with the personal interest and friendship of the woman officer, frequently result in the girls' rescue and in their return to home and parents. The effectiveness of this rescue service is seen when it is stated that less than 3 [percent] of the girls thus befriended have ever reappeared in the Morals court.


Thirteen million pages of scientific sex literature have been placed in the hands of boys and girls and men and women, many of whom were sadly in need of authoritative information on this subject. The good resulting from this educational campaign is incalculable.

Seven hundred and fifty thousand soldiers were similarly reached with appropriate literature, and this task was continued until it was taken over by the federal authorities. Two hundred United States army officers and Red Cross officials have written the Illinois Vigilance Association commendatory letters regarding the value of this piece of work.

Students in nearly ninety colleges and universities have been touched and influenced by purity leaflets circulated by the association. One hundred and fifty-seven Red Cross organizations have requested similar booklets for distribution.

Thirty-three different states and several foreign countries regularly receive the publications of the association.

Over 10,000 pages of obscene literature and many indecent pictures have been suppressed and the persons responsible for this moral filth have been reported to the authorities for prosecution.

Between 200 and 300 disorderly places have been effectively dealt with and their evils abated.

The Mann Act -- one of the most effective weapons against white slavery -- was originally suggested and instigated by the Illinois Vigilance Association.


The state injunction and abatement law -- also an effective instrument -- was first proposed, drafted and placed in the hands of Representative Richardson, and for two years promoted by this association before its enactment became possible.

Propaganda -- through publicity in the press and by means of hundreds of addresses -- has been constantly carried on in behalf of better morals.

The above things were accomplished under a nonsectarian board of directors representing every faith and including prominent professional and business people, its present president having been a member of the Chicago vice commission of 1911.

In the midst of its fourteenth successful year the Illinois Vigilance Association is this week launching a statewide program which shall include a vigilance council in each county, the objects being to combat contaminating conditions, to promote sex purity and to bring about a reassertion and maintenance of American moral standards.

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