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New Law Eliminates Human Trafficking Reporting To Help Victims

The Indiana Statehouse in downtown Indianapolis. (Peter Balonon-Rosen/IPB News)

The Indiana Statehouse in downtown Indianapolis. (Peter Balonon-Rosen/IPB News)

Health care providers will no longer have to report to law enforcement if they suspect an adult patient is the victim of human trafficking.

Lawmakers say the change is meant to help those victims.

If a doctor or nurse thinks their patient is a trafficking victim, current law mandates they report that to police. But Rep. Karen Engleman (R-Corydon) says that created a problem – trafficking victims stopped going to health care providers.

“Because they’re afraid that they’ll be arrested or retribution from their trafficker,” Engleman says.

Legislation authored by Engleman means those reports aren’t made anymore, though it does add a requirement for health care providers.

“They have to give information that includes the human trafficking helpline and information on places they can go,” Engleman says.

Engleman’s bill doesn’t apply to cases with child victims; they must still be reported.

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