So often, human trafficking is associated with faraway places and communities unlike our own. We might not realize it’s happening in the cities and towns where we live.
As a middle schooler, Anitra witnessed the impacts of human trafficking on a childhood friend. It wasn’t until years later that she understood what had been happening to her companion, and how she could offer to help those in need.
Health care workers will come into contact with an estimated 80% of human trafficking victims at some point during the course of a victim’s trafficking.
In Stockton, California, Anitra and her humantrafficking awareness coalitions, both inside and outside of Dignity Health’s St. Joseph’s Medical Center, are leveraging education and humanity to save lives and make a difference in the community.
Through survivor-led trainings, Anitra’s team has identified and assisted victims of human trafficking as young as 14 years of age. These are often victims living a life they never envisioned, trapped and voiceless. Asking the right questions can empower the vulnerable:
“Are you okay? Do you need help?”
“When I think of all the survivors that I know—that moment when someone identified them or they were rescued—it always ends with an act of humankindness.”—Anitra Williams, DNP