Victim-centered and trauma-informed 

(August 2018) – At the recent Human Dignity: A health care response to human trafficking conference, hosted by Dignity Health Foundation, Arizona Anti Trafficking Network and TRUST, Dignity Health launched the trauma-informed and victim-centered PEARR tool to help health care providers recognize and assist trafficked persons.The PEARR tool focuses on educating patients about abuse and creating the context and opportunity for them to connect with the health care provider, share their own experiences, and be in control of their health care.

When caring for a patient, a health care provider can follow these steps:

    • Provide privacy
    • Educate
    • Ask
    • Respect & Respond

Over 200 health care professionals, first responders, and victim service providers from numerous organizations were educated on this tool at the conference. 

In order to identify and care for victims and survivors of any form of abuse, neglect, or violence, including human trafficking, Dignity Health has made this tool available and free to use here

The PEARR tool was developed by Dignity Health, in partnership with HEAL Trafficking and Pacific Survivor Center, with donor support from Dignity Health Foundation.

The conference featured over 40 subject matter experts, caseworkers, and survivor advocates who educated attendees on the complex crisis of human trafficking.

Holly Gibbs oversees efforts to recognize and respond to victims of human trafficking in the health care setting.Holly Austin Gibbs, Dignity Health                           Human Trafficking Response Program Director

Taking a stand against human trafficking

Human trafficking is a global issue, and anyone from any country can become a victim. Within the United States there were more than 8,500 tips reported to the U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline in 2017. 

Unfortunately, trafficked persons often go unnoticed. A 2014 study found that nearly 88 percent of participants identifying as sex trafficking survivors had some contact with health care while being exploited. A 2017 survey found that over half of labor and sex trafficking survivors surveyed had accessed health care at least once while being trafficked. Nearly 97 percent indicated they had never been provided with information or resources about human trafficking while visiting the  health care provider. These studies underscore the reality that medical care providers are often unprepared to identify and appropriately respond to trafficked   persons.