Combating Violence and Human Trafficking (HT)

Many types of violence, including human trafficking, are more prevalent in the U.S. and throughout the world than many realize. Health care providers are often on the front lines – responsible for assessing at-risk patients, ensuring their safety, and referring them for support and services as needed. CommonSpirit Health offers various resources to help providers and staff understand issues of violence and human trafficking and how to assist at-risk patients.

CommonSpirit Violence and HT Prevention and Response (VHTPR) Program

The CommonSpirit VHTPR Program is a new model for health care systems to comprehensively address multiple issues of violence, including human trafficking. Together, trauma-informed prevention and intervention strategies can reduce violence. To learn more about CommonSpirit’s community-based violence prevention model, please click here for a self-study module. For additional information, please contact Laura Krausa, System Director Advocacy Programs, at LauraKrausa@catholichealth.net.

To learn more about CommonSpirit’s efforts to provide trauma-informed care and assistance to patients who may be impacted by abuse, neglect, or violence, such as human trafficking, please see the CommonSpirit VHTPR Program resources and tools below.

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CommonSpirit VHTPR Program Educational Modules

Providers, staff, contract employees, and volunteers are encouraged to engage in the following educational opportunities to learn more about violence, including human trafficking, and trauma-informed approaches to patient care and services. CommonSpirit currently has three educational modules available internally (in its learning management systems) and online on this webpage. Additional modules such as “Human Trafficking and Health Care Scenarios” are available for live education. Please contact Holly Gibbs, VHTPR Program Director, Patient Care Services, for details at holly.gibbs@dignityhealth.org.

Human Trafficking 101: Dispelling the Myths

This course was developed in partnership with HEAL Trafficking, a united group of multidisciplinary professionals dedicated to ending human trafficking and supporting its survivors from a public health perspective. It covers basic information about human trafficking, including potential red flags in health care settings. Following this course, providers should be able to define human trafficking, recognize misconceptions often associated with this type of violence, identify vulnerable populations and high-risk industries, and take action to prevent trafficking and respond to victims appropriately. It includes a quiz you must pass in order to print results for completing the course.

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Trauma-Informed Patient Care and Services

This course was developed in partnership with physicians and other health professionals in various fields, as well as survivors of abuse, neglect, and violence, including human trafficking. It introduces the topic of trauma and the importance of a trauma-informed approach in health care settings. Following this course, providers should be able to describe the prevalence and widespread impact of trauma, recognize signs and symptoms of traumatic stress, including secondary traumatic stress, and respond in meaningful ways. It includes a quiz you must pass in order to print results for completing the course.

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PEARR: Five Steps to Victim Assistance in Health Care Settings

The PEARR steps were developed in partnership with physicians and other health professionals from HEAL Trafficking and Pacific Survivor Center, an organization committed to advancing health and human rights in the Hawaii-Pacific region. PEARR represents five key steps for providing victim assistance to patients in a trauma-informed manner: Provide privacy, Educate, Ask, Respect and Respond. Following this course, providers should be able to use the PEARR steps to educate patients about abuse, neglect and violence, including human trafficking, assist patients with referrals to private and public community agencies, and access resources and tools (e.g. brochures and safety cards) that can assist with this process. It includes a quiz you must pass in order to print results for completing the course.

Start the Course

CommonSpirit Abuse, Neglect, and Violence Policy

The CommonSpirit Abuse, Neglect, and Violence policy/procedure guides providers, staff, contract employees, and volunteers on what to do if they believe a patient may be at-risk of experiencing any type of abuse, neglect, or violence, including human trafficking. This policy/procedure applies to both acute and non-acute patient care settings. For an example of this policy/procedure, please contact Holly Gibbs at holly.gibbs@dignityhealth.org.

Abuse, Neglect, and Violence – Reference Guide

The CommonSpirit Abuse, Neglect, and Violence policy/procedure directs providers, staff, contract employees, and volunteers to observe patients for risk factors and indicators of any type of abuse, neglect, or violence, such as human trafficking. This reference guide provides a comprehensive overview of definitions, risk factors, verbal/nonverbal indicators, and resources for additional information.

Download the Guide

CommonSpirit PEARR Tool

The PEARR steps are a critical component of the CommonSpirit Abuse, Neglect, and Violence policy/procedure. This three-page handout called the “PEARR Tool” includes a summary of the PEARR steps, an abbreviated overview of risk factors and indicators for various types of abuse, neglect, and violence, including human trafficking, and a section to insert information about public and private community agencies.

Download the Tool

Brochures and Safety Cards

The PEARR steps are based on a universal education approach in which patients are educated about abuse, neglect, or violence, such as human trafficking, prior to or in lieu of screening the patient with a series of questions. The goal is to have a normalizing and developmentally-appropriate conversation with patients – in order to create a context for affected patients to naturally share their own experiences and to possibly accept victim assistance. Use of brochures and safety cards are encouraged when having these sensitive conversations with patients. Click below to access materials from various national agencies and organizations, including CommonSpirit.

Download Agency Brochures and Safety Cards

CommonSpirit Posters and Other Resources

AHA – Human Trafficking 10 Red Flags

This American Hospital Association (AHA) resource, adapted from materials developed by Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI), describes 10 potential red flags of human trafficking in the health care setting.

Download the Resource

CommonSpirit Human Trafficking Victim Outreach Posters

CommonSpirit partnered with the National Survivor Network (NSN), a national network of labor and sex trafficking survivors, to develop HT victim outreach posters for health care settings. The posters are available in different sizes and in various languages with Dignity Health or CHI branding. This project was supported by the San Francisco-based creative agency Eleven.

Download Dignity Health-branded Posters

Download CHI-branded posters