Organization connects human trafficking victims to resources
An organization started by a human trafficking survivor is helping to prevent children in New York City from falling victim.
This comes after the arrest of Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged co-conspirator, Ghislaine Maxwell. Maxwell is currently jailed in Brooklyn and is facing federal charges. Prosecutors claim she helped Epstein “recruit, groom, and ultimately abuse victims known to be under the age of 18.”
“I am a survivor of human trafficking, it happened to me when I was 12 years old,” says Monique Riley.
Riley now runs an organization in the Bronx aimed at outreach and education. The Freedom Youth Family Justice Center gives teens summer jobs as peer educators. They connect victims to resources while raising awareness in each borough.
“This is going on, it's happening right in our community. We want people held accountable, and every survivor deserves to have justice,” said Riley.
The National Human Trafficking Hotline identified more than 1,000 victims in New York state in 2018. Neighboring New Jersey had a little more than 600.