Help Victims of Human Trafficking
The definition of Human Trafficking is the illegal trade of human beings for the purposes of reproductive slavery, commercial sexual exploitation, and forced labor. It is recognized as the modern-day form of slavery.
California cities, including Sacramento, have been highlighted the most vulnerable due to “the number of ports and airports, significant immigrant population, and large economy that includes industries that attract forced labor.” The Human Rights Society named Sacramento as the “Second Worst City in the US for Human Trafficking.”
What else is a large concern in Sacramento? Homelessness. These two issues go hand in hand. Homeless women and children are the easiest targets of human trafficking because they are vulnerable and can be easily lured by traffickers with food and shelter. They are also low risk because they often have no family or way to track them.
While the homeless population is an easy target, it is NOT the only one. Traffickers are successful in capturing a teenager’s attention with dating apps, fake high paying job opportunities, and chat rooms just to name a few. The National Human Trafficking Hotline has received 2,171 calls and reported 705 cases in 2018. The number of calls was 4,137 with 1,331 reported cases in California the year prior.
The Sacramento Life Center has many patients that come in for pregnancy and STD services that are victims of this horrible exploitation. Our staff is not only concerned for the well being of the mother, but of her unborn child. Devastatingly, many women are forced by their pimps to abort their babies, leaving them scarred physically and emotionally or reproduce for the purpose of carrying on the trade.
The Sacramento Life Center is moving forward in the education of recognizing the signs and symptoms of victimization in human trafficking patients. In working with Dignity Health and their training program, the Life Center will be able to identify victims and intervene appropriately. Ron Chambers, MD has created a safe haven for victims at the Mercy Family Health Center as well as a program that educates and trains medical facilities to ensure that the patients are receiving the correct resources and support services along with being treated medically, as well as emotionally, and get them on the right track to recovery.
To report a human trafficking case, call The National Human Trafficking Hotline 1-888-373-7888 or Mercy Family Health Center at (916) 681-3488.