We are losing too many of our young girls and boys to the horrors of human trafficking and street violence. Unfortunately, some of our community’s youngest and most vulnerable are victims of these crimes.
IFS serves as the life-line for survivors and victims of violence with a special focus on young victims (6-17 years old). We address the trauma survivors endure and is one of the few organizations that serves as early responders, reporting to crime scenes, hospitals, and police stations or finding a safe place for a victim when a crime occurs. We are the ones who help victims take the next steps to physical recovery, finding a safe home, and developing a plan of action to recover from emotional, physical and psychological trauma. We even help the victim and their family navigate the judicial system, helping them find justice. Here’s one example.
An Escape from Hell ~ Jayna is a 19-year-old human trafficking victim. Our Survivors And Victims Empowered (SAVE) staff met Jayna while doing street outreach. She told staff that she had finally on her third attempt made a successful escape from her captors three days prior. Staff learned she was kept in a house against her will and was forced into prostitution for months. Her abductors had carved initials on her wrist and kept her drugged around the clock. She had escaped to a safe house once before 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, threatened the family and forced her to return. As punishment, she wasn’t fed for 3 days and had to endure verbal and physical abuse. Upon our contact, we immediately fed her and went to work to find her a new safe house. Since she could not be safe at her family’s home, it was imperative that IFS find a new undisclosed location. Thankfully, we were able to find a place for her far-away and gave her a one-way ticket out of Newark. Prior to her leaving staff helped Jayna develop a plan of action to help her start her new life. We also provided her with an unlisted phone number to ensure her safety and regularly speak with her to check on her progress with fulfilling her action plan and offer support.
There is a growing pandemic of violent street crimes plaguing neighborhoods in Newark, leaving in its wake a mass of victims who are ill-equipped to handle trauma. Over the last three years the city of Newark averaged 100 homicides and the number of survivors of shootings is 10 times higher. Measures have been put in place to provide prevention and crime reduction, yet strategies for supporting crime victims have not been fully addressed.
IFS has emerged as a leader in providing that first response to victims and those suffering from abuse, violent crimes, human trafficking, and more.
But, we need your help! Open up your heart and help us help these young victims.
Please make a tax-deductible contribution to help us provide services for these victims of violence. Click to make a secure on-line contribution or mail a check to Independence: A Family of Services, 132 So. Harrison St. East Orange, NJ 07018.
Thank you so much for helping us fight the good fight. We can save more victims with your help.
For more information about our organization, visit www.ifsnj.org or follow us on Facebook @IndependenceAFamilyofServices or on Instagram @ifsnj.