Vol 23, 2014 Annals of Health Law 86
HEALTH CONSEQUENCES OF SEX TRAFFICKING
Hotline, a toll-free phone number that connects callers to law enforcement
as well as other services70 An earlier proposed version of the 2013 TVPRA
would have required the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the
Attorney General to “make reasonable efforts to encourage [s]tates to adopt
legislation” that requires posting of information about the hotline at a
variety of establishments, including hospitals and urgent care centers. 71
Measures like this in future federal legislation could be a catalyst to state-
level posting requirements. Posting laws improve victim access to the
hotline and could even spur otherwise hesitant victims to share their
situation with medical staff. In fact, California72 and Georgia73 have
already adopted posting laws. Other states should follow suit and expand
the range of medical facilities covered by the statutes to include abortion
and women’s health clinics. 74 Some survivors have that while posting laws
and brochures are important, even better (or in addition) is a small business
card with the hotline number as well as shelter and rescue information on it.
A business card can be slipped into a handbag or even a shoe and concealed
for use later on.
Finally, both federal and state governments must commit to providing
resources to aid survivors of sex trafficking regardless of age. Although the
Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 provided significant
resources for the care of trafficking victims, it only targeted these resources
at victims who are minors. 75 These resources need to be extended to cover
adult trafficking victims and adult survivors, as their physical and mental
health needs are just as great as those of minor sex trafficking victims.
Federal and state funding of medical care and other related survivor needs
should recognize this reality by eliminating age-based restrictions on
70. Posting the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline, POLARIS PROJECT,
national-human-trafficking-resource-center-hotline (last visited Nov. 26, 2013). This page
of the Polaris Project website also provides model language for state-level posting
71. H.R. 898, 113th Cong. § 224(c)( 1)-( 3) (2013).
72. CAL. CIV. CODE § 52. 6 (West, WestlawNext through Ch. 800 of 2013 Reg. Sess.,
2013-2014 1st Ex. Sess. Laws, and Res. Ch 123).
73. GA. CODE ANN. § 16-5-47 (West, WestlawNext through the end of the 2013 Regular
74. For additional public policy recommendations and more detail on state training and
posting requirements, see Laura J. Lederer & Ashley Johnson, Healthcare Professionals’
Role in Combating Human Trafficking (Aug. 2, 2013) (unpublished manuscript) (on file
75. Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013, Pub. L. 113-4, 127 Stat.
136, 136-160 (2013) (codified in various sections of the U.S. C.).