J stands for “Joyous Escape”
Jayna is a 19-year-old black female human trafficking victim. Our Survivors And Victims Empowered (SAVE) staff met Jayna during one of our street outreach days. She told staff that she had finally made a successful escape from her captors three days ago. We immediately fed Jayna since she hadn’t had a meal in three days.
The IFS SAVE staff gave her a sympathetic ear and learned she was abducted by a man who had befriended her. He kept her in a house against her will and forced her into prostitution for months. Her abductor had carved initials into her wrist and kept her drugged around the clock. She eventually escaped to a safe house but was tracked down and brought back.
On her second attempt to escape, she went to her mother’s house where her abductor found her and threatened to harm her family if she didn’t go with him. To keep her family from harm she went with him. Once back with her captor, as punishment, she wasn’t fed for three days and had to endure verbal and physical abuse. She eventually made a third and successful escape and that’s when SAVE staff encountered her.
IFS serves as the life-line to survivors and victims of violence and has an extensive system of trauma informed services that support survivors of violent crimes. After talking to Jayna, staff began to search for a more secure placement for her. Her family was unable to house her, so we continued reaching out to agencies that could provide a safe harbor. We were able to find a place for her in Atlantic County, gave her a one-way ticket out of Newark and called to confirm the program would send someone to pick her up at the bus station and bring her directly to a the safe house.
We provided her with an unlisted phone number so she could have contact with her family but not be traced. and keep her location unknown. Once she was placed, we continued speaking with her on a daily basis for a month to ensure that she was transitioning successfully to her new temporary residence. The Atlantic County program will assist her with finding employment and a permanent home.
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