Any number is too many: In 2018, more than 200 calls were made to the national Human Traffic Hotline from New Jersey. The reality behind that figure is likely even larger, explained Legal Services of New Jersey (LSNJ) President Melville D. Miller, since “data on the extent of trafficking in New Jersey greatly understates reality because so many victims cannot report what is happening to them.”
To help drive down the incidence of this modern-day slavery, LSNJ has established a toll-free hotline, PROTECT, that began taking calls on April 1, at 1-844-576-5776, from victims and those calling on their behalf. Callers will remain confidential and will be advised of numerous services available at LSNJ to help them cope with the impacts of human trafficking.
Anisa Rahim, chief attorney for PROTECT, noted that human trafficking “is expected to become even more acute at times like this. COVID-19 is causing rising unemployment, economic uncertainty and heightened social isolation.”