On November 13, 2018, the CSE Institute’s Research Assistant Stephanie Mersch and former CSE Institute’s extern Sarah Baranik de Alarcón participated in a presentation at the American Public Health Association annual Conference in San Diego, California. Stephanie and Sarah are co-authoring a paper along with our Director Shea Rhodes and Dr. Carli Richie-Zavaleta on the importance of the intersection of medicine, public health, human rights, and law when serving victims of trafficking. The paper, which will be published in 2019, encourages a victim-centered framework capitalizing on the intersection of these disciplines to provide trauma-informed care to sexually exploited persons. The healthcare system and healthcare providers are key players in the fight against commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking because most victims will pass through the healthcare setting at some point during their victimization.
The CSE Institute applauds the efforts already being carried out in some jurisdictions to require training on trafficking for healthcare workers. The CSE Institute hopes that the proposed model and suggestions for collaboration will encourage states and local governments to adopt interdisciplinary approaches to address trafficking. Working with Dr. Richie-Zavaleta on this article has been a highlight during Sarah and Stephanie’s legal education. At the presentation on November 13, attendees reacted positively to the suggested model and expressed excitement at the prospect of seeing more inter-sectoral collaboration.