Can Health Care Help Identify Human Trafficking? | Hello humankindness


There’s multiple paths for someone to become victim of Human Trafficking. If your basic needs
aren’t being met, that makes you more vulnerable. And, for many of the young
teens or individuals that I’ve had the privilege
of working with those basic needs
weren’t being met. No matter what path we take, we’re still human
at the end of the day. No one should be sold. My name is Anitra Williams,
I’m the director of
Nursing Operations at Dignity Health,
St. Joseph’s Medical Center. Human Trafficking is wrong,
because it’s a violation
of human rights. It’s modern day slavery. In urban settings
there’s hot spots. Gas stations, truck stops,
hotels, motels, and even tent cities,
where people will often sell their children in
exchange for drugs. As a society,
we need to accept that Human Trafficking
is happening here in the
United States. “A lot of our kids are
getting involved in this
at very young ages, “I have a ten year old
right now, “that I’m working with,
I’ve had as young as nine…” We see the most vulnerable, walk through our doors. And, they trust us. “We will have stuff prepped for
them and ready to go, “and then we can get them some
food or clothing, “just tell them about the
resources…” 80% of Human Trafficking victims
have encountered a health care provider at some point during their
trafficking. We have a duty to respond to
whatever needs our
patients have. Sometimes they need someone to
ask them simple questions like: “Are you safe?” “Are you okay?” “I think that the questions
being asked are “Absolutely the right types of
questions that need to be asked, “Him saying, ‘I realized I
needed help, “‘So I asked for support,’ “It opens the door for them to
have that conversation.” When I think of
all the survivors that I’ve come to know, every story that they describe, that moment where someone
identified them, it always ends with an
act of kindness. We’re positioned to do
something about
Human Trafficking.

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