TTUHSC, Laura W. Bush Institute to host ‘They are Not for Sale: Human Sex Trafficking Symposium’ Oct. 16

Local News

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — “Human sex trafficking is a nuanced, multidimensional crime of economics and power,” according to HEAL Trafficking, a group that aims to raise health care’s capacity to respond to human trafficking.

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) School of Medicine in Amarillo and the Laura W. Bush Institute for Women’s Health in Amarillo and Abilene are partnering to support the education of local health care communities on human trafficking, with “They are Not for Sale: Human Sex Trafficking Symposium” from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Oct. 16 by Zoom.

“Health care providers need to be informed and equipped with resources and be mindful of the impact of decisions made in a clinical setting,” Angela Knapp Eggers, senior director of the Laura W. Bush Institute for Women’s Health, said. “That’s what this symposium is intended for – ensuring our clinicians and staff know what to look for and how to react and who to contact. Every victim could be depending on us.”

Jordan Greenbaum, M.D., medical director for the International Center for Missing & Exploited Children and co-chair of HEAL Trafficking, will be the keynote speaker, according to TTUHSC.

The following is a list of additional speakers at the symposium:

  • Ariel Rodriguez, investigator from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission
  • Teresa Baker, M.D., professor of OB/GYN at TTUHSC
  • Rachel May Anderson, M.D., assistant professor of pediatrics at TTUHSC
  • Amy Stark, M.D., associate professor of psychiatry at TTUHSC
  • Lisa G. Bownds, CEO and founder of Reflection Ministries

TTUHSC explained that the symposium will provide information to health care providers on “the diversity of ways that those who experience trafficking may present; how to use human trafficking screens to assess risk of exploitation; how to apply trauma-informed, rights-based strategies when encountering challenging situations; and how to work with trafficked patients to determine future safety and health needs.”

TTUHSC included information on the physical effects of sex trafficking and exploitation like injury, sexually transmitted infections, unwanted pregnancy and complications, substance abuse and untreated chronic disease.

In addition, mental health issues of sex trafficking that can occur are PTSD, depression, anxiety, hostility, and high-risk behavior, according to TTUHSC.

“It is clear that sex trafficking damages or destroys many young people’s lives,” Richard Jordan, M.D., TTUHSC School of Medicine regional chair said. “We know we won’t solve the problem with this symposium. It is just a start, but all of us can be important parts of the effort to rescue victims and to fight sex trafficking.”

For any questions about the virtual event contact the Laura W. Bush Institute for Women’s Health at (806) 414-9941.

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