May 1, 2020
Focus of this issue:
Most victims of human trafficking have contact with a health care provider sometime during the time they are being trafficked. Despite this, up until recently many health care providers failed to recognize or address the signs of trafficking. The focus of the May newsletter is to raise awareness of the health consequences of trafficking and how health professionals are becoming better equipped to identify and aid human trafficking victims.
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Stop Trafficking Newsletter is produced by US Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking, to serve as a forum for exchange among religious congregations and their collaborating organizations:
- to promote awareness regarding human trafficking;
- to exchange best practices in advocacy for and empowerment of survivors of human trafficking;
- to recommend actions to counter human trafficking;
- to share information about survivor services.
We are grateful for all of the sponsors of the Stop Trafficking Newsletter. For the list of our sponsors: Click Here
If your community is not currently a sponsor but would like to be, please contact Jennifer Reyes Lay.
June 20, 2019
ATLANTIC CITY — Last year, a registered nurse in Pennsylvania was able to identify a victim of human trafficking because of what she learned during a symposium in the resort.
“The whole time, he wouldn’t leave her,” Sharon Brenizer, of Camp Hill, said of the man who had escorted a woman to the emergency department at Holy Spirit Hospital. “She turned out to be listed as a missing person.”
Brenizer was among the dozens of health care providers assembled Friday morning during AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center’s 21st annual Trauma Symposium at Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City for a presentation on human trafficking.
Trafficking victims could come into a hospital or doctor’s office for any number of reasons, from assault, prenatal care and routine checkups to mental health services and addiction treatment, Hunt said. And 87.8% of victims report having contact with a health care provider while they are being trafficked.
However, of the almost 5,700 hospitals across the U.S., only 60 have a plan for treating patients who are being trafficked and 95% percent of emergency room personnel aren’t trained to treat trafficking victims, he added.
To read the full story by Molly Bilinski on The Press of Atlantic City: Click Here
February 14, 2019
At the moment, Michigan might be best known for the extreme cold temperatures, snow, and ice it is facing, but to Danielle Jordan Bastein, an ER nurse at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan is also known for something far more dangerous:
But now, thanks to a new screening protocol that she implemented while a student at Wayne State University, Bastein is fighting back — and working to help trafficked individuals before it’s too late.
What Does Human Trafficking Have to Do with Hospitals?
In an article with Fox 2 News Detroit, Bastein explained that a large majority of trafficked individuals come into contact with health care workers at some point during their trafficking, but shockingly, very few of them are actually identified by healthcare staff. One study found that approximately half of all trafficked individuals (mostly women and female children) do see a healthcare worker at some point during their exploitation. In fact, healthcare workers are the most likely of any profession to come into initial contact with a trafficked girl or woman, so even the National Conference of State Legislatures has identified healthcare workers as a key first-line defense against trafficking.
So, what are we missing here?
Well, in Bastein’s eyes, we are missing out on crucial screening protocol and training that would ensure that emergency room triage nurses are able to routinely ask the right questions and do the right assessment that would flag a potential trafficking victim for further follow-up. Her screening tool looks for patterns of inconsistencies in the patient’s story, abuse, torture, or neglect signs, and other behaviors consistent with trafficking victims, such as if they aren’t holding their own ID or money, or if the person they are with is answering questions for them and refuses to leave or let them be alone.
To read the full story by Chaunie Brusie on Nurse.org: Click Here
February 4, 2019
Can a blanket question about personal safety be effective in identifying cases of human trafficking or domestic violence?
Renea Wilson, MSN, RN, CEN, director of the emergency department (ED) at Stormont Vail Hospital in Topeka, Kan., didn’t think so. She believed her hospital was treating patients who were being trafficked and felt her department could do more to intervene.
Wilson’s instincts proved correct. Polaris, a Washington, D.C.- area nonprofit dedicated to the global eradication of human slavery, has identified Topeka as a hotspot for human trafficking.
The U.S. Department of Defense reports that human trafficking — transporting people across state or international lines, typically for forced labor or sexual exploitation — is one of the world’s fastest growing crimes, and the health care community is moving to respond. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in June released new diagnostic codesfor designating suspected and confirmed cases of trafficking, and the American Hospital Association has made human trafficking one of the four pillars of its Hospitals Against Violence campaign.
Aware of this kind of nationwide attention, and motivated by the needs of her community, Wilson spearheaded an effort in 2015 to do a better job of identifying and responding to victims of human trafficking and of domestic violence as well. Elements of the initiative included staff education, coalition building, and development of a personal safety screening tool.
To read the full story on Campaign for Action: Click Here