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Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States: A Guide for the Health Care Sector

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Description

Every day in the United States, children and adolescents are victims of commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking. These are not only illegal activities, but also forms of violence and abuse that result in immediate and long-term physical, mental, and emotional harm to victims and survivors. In 2013, the Institute of Medicine/National Research Council released the report Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States. The report found that the United States is in the very early stages of recognizing, understanding, and developing solutions for these crimes.

Health care professionals need to be able to recognize past, ongoing, or potential victimization by commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking among the youth in their care. Failure to do so increases the possibility that those at risk may become victims, and victims may miss opportunities for assistance and remain vulnerable to further exploitation and abuse.

This Guide for the Health Care Sector provides a summary of information from the original report that is most relevant to individuals who and settings that see children and adolescents for prevention and treatment of injury, illness, and disease. This includes physicians, nurses, advanced practice nurses, physician assistants, mental health professionals, and dentists who practice in settings such as emergency departments, urgent care, primary care clinics, adolescent medicine clinics, school clinics, shelters, community health centers, and dental clinics among others.

This guide includes definitions of key terms and an overview of risk factors and consequences; barriers to identifying victims and survivors as well as opportunities for overcoming these barriers; examples of current practices in the health care sector; and recommendations aimed at identifying, preventing, and responding to these crimes.

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Suggested Citation

Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2014. Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States: A Guide for the Health Care Sector. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/18886.

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Publication Info

42 pages | 6 x 9
ISBNs:
  • Paperback: 978-0-309-31043-7
  • Ebook: 978-0-309-31046-8
DOI: https://doi.org/10.17226/18886
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