AMARILLO, Texas(KAMR/KCIT) —Healthcare professionals are often on the front lines of dealing with victims and survivors of human sex trafficking as the majority of trafficked persons access health care while being trafficked. In an effort to support the continuing education of the local healthcare community, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine in Amarillo and the Laura W. Bush Institute for Women’s Health are hosting the “They are Not for Sale: Human Sex Trafficking Symposium.”

The symposium will provide information to healthcare providers on the diversity of ways that those who experience trafficking may present; how to use human trafficking screens to assess the 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.

The physical effects of sex trafficking and exploitation can include injury, sexually transmitted infections, unwanted pregnancy and complications, substance abuse, and untreated chronic disease. Mental health issues like PTSD, depression, anxiety, hostility, and high-risk behaviors also can arise. Health care providers have a critical role in survivorship through empowering their patients by offering them choices in their treatments, allowing them to ask questions, and focusing on their strengths as a survivor.

“They are Not for Sale: Human Sex Trafficking Symposium,” from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Oct. 13 at the TTUHSC Jerry H. Hodge School of Pharmacy Harrington Auditorium.

For additional questions about the event, please contact the Laura W. Bush Institute for Women’s Health at (806) 414-9941. You can purchase tickets for the event here.

And if anyone is experiencing human trafficking, we want to make sure that you know—help is available. Call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888, or visit There, you’ll find a place to submit a tip or chat with an expert.