DOJ Collaborates to Provide Human Trafficking Awareness Training to Medical Professionals

As part of his ongoing efforts to end human trafficking in Montana, Attorney General Tim Fox introduced a Continuing Education (CE) training at St. Peter’s Health Regional Medical Center in Helena today. The CE was presented by The America Unchained Project, a human trafficking awareness campaign aimed at educating medical professionals who may be likely to come into contact with human trafficking victims in a clinical setting.

“When medical personnel learn how to identify the signs of human trafficking and how to develop internal protocols to follow, they are empowered to save another human being from a life of slavery and abuse,” said Attorney General Tim Fox. “It can be a challenge to identify victims and provide support, even for service providers, but by participating in this training, clinicians who are on the front lines of the fight will get the tools they need to help law enforcement end human trafficking in Montana.”

“Human trafficking victims go to clinics, hospitals, and emergency rooms far more than people think; in fact, nearly 88% of them will see a medical provider during captivity and leave the clinic with their captor,” said Charity Parenzini, founder of the America Unchained Project. “We are pleased to partner with the Montana Department of Justice to offer this specialized training for medical personnel, and we thank St. Peter’s Healthcare for hosting our first-ever CE course in the state.”

For the past six years, human trafficking awareness and prevention have been key initiatives at the Montana Department of Justice. Montana’s laws now have clear definitions and penalties to protect children and help sex trafficking victims on the road to recovery. Four years ago, the organization Shared Hope International ranked Montana as one of the top three states in the country for its efforts to prevent child sex trafficking, citing its successful commitment to advancing legislation to ensure children are not for sale within our borders. Last year, the same organization again rated Montana at an “A” for its work to prevent human trafficking.

The America Unchained Project is a not-for-profit educational project created by media professionals and experts. Its goal is to create on-line and mobile education opportunities to help key professionals learn how to identify human trafficking victims on the job. In addition to Helena, in-person CE and CME trainings are being planned for Missoula and Billings; medical providers across Montana will also be able to take the CME on-line in the near future.

To report suspected human trafficking cases, or to request help, call local law enforcement, the Blue Campaign National Hotline at 1-866-347-2423, or text “HELP” or “INFO” to BeFree (233733).

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