Missouri bill discusses human trafficking training for hospital officials

Published: Dec. 12, 2022 at 6:01 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - A bill that will go to lawmakers in January will discuss training to detect human trafficking for hospital staff.

”We have an opportunity as healthcare providers to identify those victims, and help them get the resources that they need, and also begin that healing process, if that’s where they’re at in that journey. So I think it’s really important that we get that information out there. I’m definitely an advocate for that,” said Elyse Nimmo with Mercy Hospital.

“They get training on human trafficking, kind of what to look for, what does that look like in healthcare, and then we do have ongoing training in those departments as needed,” said Nimmo. “We’ll have guest speakers that come in, and then also, as a ministry, as we do our abuse and neglect training, domestic violence, that’s also incorporated to as a ministry.”

She says the proposed training is important.

“In research and studies, it shows that up to 88% of victims came to health care facilities while they were being trafficked,” said Nimmo.

It’s not just doctors and nurses who need to be alert, you can too.

”Noticing some suspicious behavior between people, you know, that maybe they’re not making eye contact, they’re fighting, they’re just really reserved, they could also be on the opposite side, maybe being very aggressive and yelling at people. A lot of times, victims will avoid eye contact, and you may notice different tattoos or branding,” said Nimmo.

If you do, alert hospital staff, it could save a life.

”They’re running away from something.”

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