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Human Trafficking

Human trafficking is characterized by the utilization of force, deceit, or coercion to compel individuals into engaging in various forms of labor or commercial sex activities. Every year, millions of men, women, and children are trafficked worldwide – including right here in the United States. It can happen in any community and victims can be any age, race, gender, or nationality. Traffickers might use violence, manipulation, or false promises of well-paying jobs or romantic relationships to lure victims into the web of human trafficking.

Victims may even be trafficked by family members, and this is called Familial Trafficking. In 2020, according to Polaris, 31% of Human Trafficking victims were trafficked by family members. Most victims do not even realize they are being trafficked because they do not fully understand the definition of what constitutes Human Trafficking. Human Trafficking is defined, legally, as a crime involving the exploitation of a person for labor, services, or commercial sex

Myth: Human Trafficking only occurs when someone is kidnapped

Fact: Abductions do occur, but commonly traffickers use psychological techniques to gain a person’s trust and abuse gradually increases to desensitize the victim

This is a comprehensive medical examination administered by a specialized certified Forensic Nurse, specifically trained to conduct a Forensic Medical Examination for victims of sexual assault. The examination encompasses the following key components:

  1. Patient Consent and Assent: The patient provides ongoing consent and assent throughout the examination process.
  2. Medical History and Assault Account: The patient furnishes details about their medical history and recounts the circumstances of the assault, enabling the nurse to assess and determine the necessary medical care.
  3. Head-to-Toe Nursing Assessment: This involves a thorough assessment, including vital signs, measurements, and documentation of any signs or symptoms of abuse and/or assault that the patient may exhibit or currently experience.
  4. Evidence Collection: With the patient’s consent, the nurse collects samples by swabbing various areas of the body, preserves clothing, and may collect urine and/or blood samples.
  5. Medication and Testing: The nurse may offer medication to prevent pregnancy and/or sexually transmitted infections. Testing may also be offered for these conditions, with the order determined based on the patient’s preference and medical judgment. Education is provided regarding the reasons for sequencing testing or medication first.
  6. Photo Documentation: If the patient consents, the nurse documents the patient’s condition, the condition of their clothing, and any injuries through photo-documentation.
  7. ER Referral Assessment: The nurse assesses whether the patient should be referred to the emergency room for evaluation by a physician. For victims of human trafficking, it is essential to ensure that they are not dehydrated or malnourished.
  8. Resource and Counseling Referrals: The nurse educates the patient on where to access counseling, additional medical assistance if needed, and other resources related to safety and any other requirements. Encouragement is given for a follow-up appointment to review lab results, document the progression of injuries through further photo-documentation, and conduct a general check-up with the patient.

Note: Photographic documentation is captured using the SDFI system and stored with AES 256 Bit Encryption along with Passphrase Protection. It’s essential to understand that these photographs are not immediately shared with ANYONE. All photographs are treated as evidence and can only be released to Law Enforcement or any other party with a valid subpoena issued by a judge. We prioritize and take your privacy extremely seriously, and every precaution is taken to ensure the security and confidentiality of this sensitive information.