Survivors of Human Trafficking in NJ
CHART’s initial, but not exclusive focus, is to further develop our abilities to identify and aid victims of human trafficking. Since roughly 10-20% of youth experiencing homelessness at CHNJ have been subject to trafficking, through experience and research in the past few years, we have become a leading expert in the state to serve victims of trafficking. In fact, in late 2020 we were awarded a grant from the State of New Jersey to become the lead organization to coordinate care towards trafficking victims of all ages. That grant has been renewed again for the coming year.
With an unshakable commitment to those in need, Caring for Survivors (C4S) is dedicated to providing absolute respect and unconditional love by advocating, listening, learning from and serving those who have experienced human trafficking.
Youth survivors of trafficking are counseled on options for treatment of their trauma, including on-site individual and group therapy and access to our Peace Room. We also offer no-cost access to off-site specialized services provided by Sanar Wellness in Newark, such as EMDR, restorative yoga, and other treatment modalities proven to treat severe trauma.
Identifying trafficking victims is a challenging process, due to many factors, including the extreme trauma victims face. But identifying and providing services to victims as soon as possible is the only way to start the healing process for the inhuman terror these young people have experienced.
CHNJ and along with independent researchers developed and scientifically validated the first short trafficking screening tool, Quick Youth Indicators for Trafficking (QYIT). The four-question tool can be used by non-expert staff to evaluate for a lifetime trafficking experience among homeless youth served.
Youth who screen positive on the QYIT are immediately referred to the in-house licensed clinical social workers and legal experts for a full trafficking assessment. During these assessments, expert staff determines whether the youth has been sex trafficked, labor trafficked, or was subjected to some other form of exploitation (such as survival sex or labor exploitation).
Youth survivors of trafficking are also offered legal advice and representation to pursue legal remedies. Options include reporting to law enforcement and accessing victim support services. Our lawyers will also represent survivors in legal matters related to their trafficking experiences, including immigration, family, and vacatur or expungement of prior records.
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