A new initiative aimed at helping victims of human trafficking has been launched in the Garden State.

Posters featuring state and national human trafficking hotline numbers are going up in 48 restrooms along the New Jersey Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway.

The posters, in English and Spanish, proclaim “Looking for a Way Out? You have Rights."

The New Jersey human trafficking hotline number is 855-363-6548. The national number is 888-373-7888.

“It’s important to not only know how to identify victims of human trafficking but also to provide those victims with an opportunity to get out,” said state Sen. Troy Singleton, D-Burlington. “Not only is this a way to provide information to victims of it, but it’s like the old adage of 'see something, say something' so that others will be able to say, 'OK, something was out of place and I know what’s going on.'”

He said eradicating human trafficking will require a multi-pronged approach.

“Each initiative that we do slowly deteriorates this scourge on our society that is a form of modern day slavery," he said.

Singleton is sponsoring a measure that would require commercial driver license applicants to complete training courses on how to handle and respond to suspected human trafficking. He has another bill that would provide for civil actions against anyone who profits from the commission of a human trafficking offense.

The poster initiative was done in partnership with the New Jersey Human Trafficking Task Force, part of the Attorney General’s Office, and also the Turnpike Authority.

The mission of the New Jersey Human Trafficking Task Force is to train and assist law enforcement officers to identify the signs of trafficking and its victims, coordinate statewide efforts to identify and provide services, prosecute human trafficking cases, and inform the public about the issue.

You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com

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