Hospitals Gear Up For New Diagnosis: Human Trafficking (Freedom United/NPR News | Tuesday July 24, 2018)

When a woman arrived at the emergency department at Huntington Hospital on New York’s Long Island after being hit by her boyfriend, hospital staff suspected there was a deeper issue behind her injury. The woman was an undocumented immigrant from El Salvador who worked at a local cantina. Her job included getting drinks for customers, but sometimes this meant offering sex as well. Her boyfriend didn’t want her to work there, which is what led to the fight. Medical staff began asking her if she’d ever had sex for money, or whether she had to give someone else part of what she earns, among other things. The screening questions were part of a new program at Northwell Health, a 23-hospital system in the New York area, to help staff identify and support victims of human trafficking. According to a 2014 survey of about 100 survivors of sex trafficking, 88 percent said that while they were being trafficked they had contact with a health care provider, typically someone in an emergency department. To read the entire article, click here