Still Waters Program
Still Waters Program
Still Waters assists people who have been subjected to human trafficking. Whether they are victims of labor trafficking or sex trafficking, survivors may need multiple forms of assistance to be able to recover from abuses that have been committed against them.
Still Waters can assist trafficking survivors to meet basic needs such as food, clothing and housing; health needs including medical, dental, vision, and mental health; economic needs including literacy, ESL, transportation, childcare, job skills, and employment; and matters specific to noncitizens, such as obtaining identification documents, preparation to apply for legal status, and re-uniting a trafficked person with his or her family members.
As a program of the Reformed Church of Highland Park Affordable Housing Corporation (RCHP-AHC), the Still Waters initiative assists victims of trafficking in central New Jersey and surrounding areas, in partnership with the nationwide US Committee on Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI), through a grant from the US Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Families and Children, Office on Trafficking in Persons.
About Human Trafficking
Crimes of human trafficking are committed throughout the world, including every region of the United States. Victims may be adults or children, male or female. Although US citizens can fall victim to traffickers, often the victim is here from another country. A typical scenario: the person has borrowed money to come to the USA for a particular opportunity — a temporary work visa, or a student visa, or to take part in a cultural exchange program. When they arrive, the opportunity turns out to be false: a trap, not what was promised. Now the person is faced with having to work illegally to pay off the debt, forced to work with little or no pay (labor trafficking) or forced into a life of providing sex (sex trafficking) to the traffickers or their customers.
Traffickers may coerce their victims by tactics such as confiscating their passports and monitoring their movements, controlling who they talk to, when and where they sleep, and whether they eat. Victims are falsely told that their lack of citizenship means they have no right to fair pay or workplace safety. They are often made to believe they owe the trafficker money and must keep working to pay it off. Some traffickers have gang members in the victim’s home country, to threaten the victim’s relatives there, if the victim resists working. Often victims speak limited English, and do not know their rights. They are afraid to report to the police that they are being coerced and exploited, because the traffickers have convinced them that the police will detain and deport the victim.
Trafficked people may be working in gas stations, convenience stores, nail salons, massage parlors, restaurants, factories, or farm fields. They may work on crews doing construction, roofing, cleaning, or begging. They may work as housekeepers or nannies in private homes. If you know of someone who may currently be in a trafficking situation, please call the National Human Trafficking Hotline, 1-888-373-7888, open 24 hours a day. Your report will be treated confidentially and can be made anonymously.
Victims of trafficking can be referred to the Still Waters program by law enforcement, community agencies, churches, hospitals, or individuals. To refer a survivor in need of services, or for more information about the Still Waters initiative, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org