Congress: Mandate human trafficking training for medical professionals
Last October, a doctor was examining a female patient in the emergency room, when suddenly she slipped him a note: “I have a tracker in me.”
At first, the doctor was skeptical. But the x-ray showed it clearly: a tiny metallic identifier often used for pets, implanted in her by someone who wanted to demonstrate his ownership over her. The woman was a victim of human trafficking, and her pimp had placed an ID chip in her to force her to continue selling herself for sex.
Had she not gone to the emergency room that night, she may not have been able to escape her trafficking situation. And had the doctor not run the x-ray, he might have not recognized her as a trafficking victim.
Healthcare professionals are uniquely positioned to be able to interact with trafficking victims. But in one study, 95% of ER doctors and nurses surveyed had never received formal training on human trafficking. The House of Representatives recently introduced a bill ensuring that healthcare professionals get comprehensive training to help trafficking victims. The same bill was introduced in the Senate last year. Please call on Congress to pass this important legislation.