RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Bon Secours Health System on Thursday sponsored a meeting with mobile clinics from Virginia, Maryland, and D.C. about how they can help fight human trafficking.

Speaking to mobile clinics from across the Mideast, Nancy Winston with Shared Hope International spoke with the group about what signs they should look for when looking for victims of human trafficking.

“Health care professionals are often times the first people to see a victim of human trafficking,” Winston explained.

Winston and Bon Secours are trying to combat the problem by holding the meeting, sharing stories of victims and their horrific injuries, as well as testimonials from survivors.

“There’s help out there, there are resources and they need to know what those are,” said forensic nurse Bonnie Price.

Price is the director of nursing services at Bon Secours and says her department sees victims of human trafficking from our area all the time. She says it’s important the community knows victims can come from anywhere.

“It doesn’t just affect one nationality, or one race, or one socioeconomic group,” Price said. “It can by everywhere.”

“You may not want to hear it, but your children, age 11-17, are some of the most vulnerable kids out there,” Winston said.

Bon Secours hopes Thursday’s meeting leads to action so they can prevent kids from becoming victims and help victims become successful survivors.

“To us, it’s a very important part of our ministry about addressing a population of vulnerable people,” said Sister Anne Marie Mack with Bon Secours.

Thursday Polaris, a group aiming to eradicate human trafficking, released a new report based off the largest data set on human trafficking ever publicly compiled and analyzed in the United States.People can receive help or report a tip of suspected human trafficking in the United States by calling the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or by sending a text to Polaris at “BeFree” (233733).

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