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Perhaps, we nurses should have this phone number posted in areas where women in your care can see it.Nurses should also be aware of the warning signs associated with trafficking, and when we suspect our patient/client may be such a victim, we should hand them a phone!We have heard “but he is a pastor” and “but he is on city council” and “ their reputations would be destroyed”.
In 2016, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children estimated that 1 in 6 endangered runaways reported to their Center were likely sex trafficking victims.Some shared “I have told people and nobody believed me”.Some were placed in foster homes, and believe it or not, they were molested and recruited by their pimps from the foster care system. This may seem so much bigger than what we can do as individuals.As health care providers and patient advocates we must begin to work vigorously with our own elected officials to change the unacceptable and shocking status quo.Did you know that trafficked children are treated as criminals in many jurisdictions even though under Federal law those under 18 years old are classified as victims?
My “own public” sat in disbelief when we first started talking about sex trafficking right here where we live and work.