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10:50 AM

MetroHealth Brings Human Trafficking Education to the Health and Beauty Industry

Human trafficking and domestic violence are pervasive problems in Northeast Ohio, but it isn't always easy to know who needs help or how to help them.

The MetroHealth System's Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) team has launched an education campaign to help members of the community recognize signs that an individual may be the victim of human trafficking and safely intervene. Those working in the health and beauty industry, who often have close contact with their clients, are in a unique position to spot those signs.

The MetroHealth Forensic Unit will present the seminar "Recognizing the Signs of Human Trafficking and Domestic Violence in the Beauty Industry," in collaboration with Hilo Salon and MetroHealth Comprehensive Sexual Health Center. The seminar will be Thursday, January 11 from 6 to 8 p.m. at MetroHealth Parma Medical Center, 12301 Snow Road, Parma.

"There are new and developing patterns being seen in Human Trafficking, and it is essential that we do what we can to stop it," said MetroHealth SANE Coordinator Anna Becks, RN, BSN. "One strategy is to engage the community, and beauty industry professionals are especially valuable partners. While washing hair, trimming eyebrows or providing a chair massage, they may see things that others would miss."

The seminar will teach salon owners, stylists, cosmetology students, estheticians, tattoo artists and fitness professionals to recognize flags, including certain behaviors and physical markings like as bruises, abrasions or unusual tattoos. Participants also will learn what to do if they suspect someone is being abused or controlled. Light refreshments will be provided.

This event, along with other MetroHealth community outreach initiatives aimed at educating about human trafficking, is an extension of a program that Becks developed to train MetroHealth employees. The effort has been effective: Within the first six months of instituting the training, 15 human trafficking victims have been identified by MetroHealth caregivers and connected with help.

For more information or to register for the event, contact Anastasia Loejos at

About the MetroHealth System

Founded in 1837, MetroHealth is leading the way to a healthier you and a healthier community through service, teaching, discovery, and teamwork. Cuyahoga County’s public, safety-net hospital system, MetroHealth meets people where they are, providing care through five hospitals, four emergency departments, and more than 20 health centers and 40 additional sites. Each day, our nearly 9,000 employees focus on providing our community with equitable health care–through patient-focused research, access to care, and support services–that seeks to eradicate health disparities rooted in systematic barriers For more information, visit