“Years ago I learned about human trafficking. Getting to know survivor’s stories, I realized I was seeing trafficked victims in emergency. Now, I work to educate [others] on how to recognize trafficked persons and find resources to assist them.”
"In the emergency department, people often share things with you, they’re scared and vulnerable. You see a side not many get to see. I appreciate the opportunity to offer medical care and emotional support to these patients.
Years ago I learned about human trafficking through my church; they support organizations that assist women and children with exiting the sex industry. I started volunteering for one of these organizations and after getting to know survivors and hearing their stories, I realized I was seeing trafficked victims in emergency but not recognizing it. That was humbling. Now, I work to educate front-line workers and community partners, such as police, on how to recognize trafficked persons and find resources to assist them.
As a doctor I take care of the medical component; I recognize these aren’t cases where I can just give medication and it will get better. Healing after being trafficked is a process, but I’m glad to be a ring in the chain to recovery.
My husband and I love the outdoors. We love all forms of skiing. In the summer we enjoy hikes and multi-day trips in the mountains. For me, nature is very therapeutic."
- Dr. Mélanie Ryper, Emergency Physician, Royal Columbian Hospital, New Westminster
Read more Humans of Fraser Health stories: https://fraserhealth.ca/HumansofFraserHealth