Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $800,000)
Since 2020, Legal Services of New Jersey’s anti-trafficking initiative PROTECT has developed a coordinated referral system throughout New Jersey to address the full complement of civil legal issues and social service needs of sex and labor trafficking victims. To provide individualized continuum of care, PROTECT ensures victims receive legal assistance on the full range of legal issues (immigration, employment, assistance programs, etc.) and collaborates with social service partners for help with housing and trauma-informed services. Under this OVC award, PROTECT will continue its work on victim-witness advocacy, immigration relief, and wage theft. PROTECT will also address additional areas in critical need of expansion, including outreach to help Asian trafficking victims. Consonant with goals to enhance racial equity and in partnership with a statewide organization, PROTECT will provide targeted outreach; develop relationships with Asian community organizations to disseminate information about trafficking; develop and provide culturally appropriate resources and training; provide referral processes, and begin offering free, comprehensive, and supportive civil legal assistance to Asian trafficking victims. Additionally, PROTECT will strengthen its hospital-based efforts by enhancing awareness of and programming for trafficking victims throughout NJ hospitals, with assistance from LSNJ’s Legal Assistance to Medical Patients project (LAMP). PROTECT staff will meet with staff at LAMP and non-LAMP hospitals, deliver substantive training sessions on the high-risk indicators of human trafficking, the civil legal needs of trafficking victims, and resources available, as well as provide referral processes.
- This project will launch a pilot Youth Advocate Leadership Program where college students will participate in a paid victim advocacy fellowship program serving traditionally marginalized communities.
- Training and Technical Assistance (TTA) for the Field Generated Strategies to Address the Criminalization of Minor Victims of Sex Trafficking Program Sites (Field Strategies TTA)
- MPYS Continuum Housing Program for Youth