Human trafficking is a scourge throughout our land and, unfortunately, it also occurs in New Jersey. That’s why I’m part of a coalition determined to offer hope and a refuge to victims of this despicable practice.
As a result of our collective efforts, posters (in English and Spanish) will be posted in rest areas on all New Jersey Turnpike bathrooms and on the Garden State Parkway.
This multi-agency initiative is an effort to halt human trafficking in New Jersey. The idea came from Judi Worgess, a founding member of In His Image, a group dedicated to stop human trafficking in Burlington County.
“We believe these signs will be life-giving, resulting in the rescue of many victims, as a stop in a public restroom may be the only time that a victim is separated from his [or] her captor,” Worgess said in a statement.
A tragic truth about human trafficking is that victims are often hiding in plain sight, and we need to do everything we can to let them know that help is just a phone call away. We believe this is a vital and practical first step that can stop this inhuman crime.
To further support this effort, I am sponsoring a measure that would require commercial driver’s license applicants to complete training on what to do if they spot suspected human trafficking. I am also sponsoring another bill that provides for civil action against anyone profiting from human trafficking.
I want to send a message that no one should tolerate human trafficking, and here in New Jersey, we are taking steps to stamp it out.
While supporters of a cause might sometimes disagree on the approach to improvement, this effort has the blessings of a coalition that combines all of our attention, efforts and action. This partnership consists of the In His Image coalition, the NJ Attorney General’s office, the New Jersey Human Trafficking Task Force, the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, the New Jersey Coalition Against Human Trafficking and my office.
If you are a victim of human trafficking or if you know someone who might be, don’t hesitate to call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 888-3737-888 or text free (233733). It’s a phone call that can change a life for the better.
That’s my take, what’s yours?