Recognizing the trauma of human trafficking

SAYREVILLE, NJ — Trauma has been the 2017 focus of the New Jersey Coalition Against Human Trafficking, and the devastating effects of PTSD along with other health issues will be discussed at an all-day event at the Middlesex County Fire Academy on Friday, May 5.

Barbara Amaya was just 12 when she was first trafficked; she spent 10 years being sold for sex in Washington, D.C., and New York, and the long-term health effects have been devastating. When she was still a child, she would visit the ER frequently with stab wounds and bruises, but no one ever asked her what was going on. To help medical professionals better identify potential victims and community members understand the suffering faced by survivors, Dr. Hanni Stoklosa, an ER doctor at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and co-founder of HEAL Trafficking, will be offering trauma informed care advice and training.

The event will run from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is co-sponsored by the NJ Coalition Against Human Trafficking, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and the New Jersey Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. The seminar is open to all, with accreditation available for health care professionals. Breakfast and lunch will be provided for a nominal fee.

The New Jersey Coalition Against Human Trafficking is a nonprofit made up of more than 140 organizations in New Jersey, with a mission to unite N.J. communities to abolish human trafficking. It runs and co-sponsors numerous events annually and has many committees. To learn more, visit