Human Trafficking - Deal with First Things First
Often, a trafficked person will have specific concerns that they want to address first. Whether a person is trafficked or not, first assess their immediate safety and needs:
- Are they worried about their safety?
- Can you help them feel safe right now?
- Do they need medical care?
- Do they need food or water?
- Do they need rest or sleep?
- Do they need to make a phone call?
- Do they need a change of clothing or a blanket to keep warm?
- Do they need an aspirin or a throat lozenge?
Focus on helping solve immediate concerns and problems. This may mean finding other service providers such as a shelter or a doctor.
My Story: It’s gut-wrenching and soul destroying. When I finally escaped I went to a shelter. The only thing I wanted to do was sleep. I was so exhausted.
Patience, good listening skills and kindness can contribute to a climate of trust to help the person feel comfortable and safe.
Remember: talking with you may be one of the only opportunities a trafficked person has to get help.
Reality Check: If Helen, from Case Study 1 of this module, told you her story now, do you think you’d recognize her as someone who may have been trafficked? Why or why not?
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