Michelle Lyman (1 Posts)
University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine
Michelle Lyman is a third year medical student in the SELECT Program at the University of South Florida. Originally from Jacksonville Florida, Michelle currently lives in Allentown, Pennsylvania where she is completing her third year clerkships. She is interested in public health and patient advocacy.
Physicians across many specialties are treating trafficked persons in their practice. Yet they are not trained to recognize human trafficking or know how to intervene. Studies have shown that 88 percent of US-born sex trafficking victims reported receiving medical care while being trafficked.
When many people hear about human trafficking and health care, they usually think about sexual health: sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy, and so forth. However, the health problems of trafficking survivors are much more vast and complex. It is also important to note that not all trafficking survivors are trafficked for sex.
In the five years that have passed since I met the 14-year-old girl who opened my eyes to the terrible crime of sex trafficking in the United States, much has changed. We have made strides in state and federal legislation to protect survivors, national human trafficking prevention months have been declared, and victims are no longer treated as criminals.