What is Human Trafficking?
Human trafficking involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act. 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 trafficking situations.
What is an FNE for Human Trafficking victims?
This is a thorough medical examination done by a specialized certified Forensic Nurse trained in to perform the Forensic Medical Examination for a Sexual Assault victim. This exam includes:
- The patient providing consent and continuing assent throughout the exam.
- The patient providing a medical history and a history of the assault so that the nurse is able to determine the medical care the patient requires.
- A head-to-toe nursing assessment, including vital signs. This will also include measurements and documentation of any signs and symptoms of abuse and/or assault that the patient may have or are currently experiencing.
- The nurse, with the patient’s consent, will collect samples by swabbing areas of the body, collect clothing, and possibly urine and/or blood.
- The nurse may offer medication to prevent pregnancy and/or sexually transmitted infections. Testing may also be offered for these, and may be done prior to medications. Education of these will be given, along with education as to why do testing first, or why do medication first.
- If the patient consents then the nurse will take photo-documentation of the patient’s condition, clothing condition, and any injuries.
- The nurse will be able to determine if the patients should be referred to the ER to be seen by a physician. With Human Trafficking patients, it is important to ensure that these patients are not dehydrated or malnourished.
- The nurse will educate the patient where to find counseling, further medical assistance if required, and other resources for safety and/or other needs. The nurse will also encourage a follow-up appointment for lab results, follow up photo-documentation of injuries, and general check-up with the patient.
NOTE: Photographic documentation is taken using the SDFI system and stored with AES 256 Bit Encryption with Passphrase Protection. Photographs are not immediately shared with ANYONE! All photographs are considered evidence and requires a subpoena from a judge to be released to Law Enforcement or anyone else. We hold your privacy in our hands and take that seriously!