UofL Hospital’s SAFE Services’ provides resources for human trafficking victims

UofL Hospital’s SAFE Services’ provides resources for human trafficking victims
UofL Health-Peace Hospital will begin screening at intake for human trafficking in February. (Source: Tori Gessner, WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month and University of Louisville Hospital is helping to provide resources for victims in Louisville.

UofL Hospital’s Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner, or ‘SAFE’ Services, was started to connect sexual assault and domestic violence victims with medical forensic exams, law enforcement and advocates. Its the largest SAFE Services program in the city.

The hospital said many patients are reluctant to report human trafficking because of fear of retaliation by their perpetrator, but they say there are signs in their screening tool that help them spot the signs of trafficking.

The screening tool is about 30 questions and it is meant to help determine the needs of the victim.

“You may see someone that is malnourished,” Vicki Yazel, assistant manager of SAFE Services at UofL Hospital said. “[They] maybe have injuries to their face, head, neck or have a companion with them that’s doing a lot of the talking for them. The companion may seem quite a bit older and the person may be younger than they are stating their age is.”

There are about eight different visuals the hospital has on the screening tool.

UofL Health-Peace Hospital will begin screening at intake for trafficking in February.

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