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J Pediatr Adolesc Gynecol. 2017 Feb;30(1):109-115. doi: 10.1016/j.jpag.2016.08.010. Epub 2016 Aug 26.

Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking Patients: A Retrospective Analysis of Medical Presentation.

Author information

1
Department of Pediatrics, The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island; Hasbro Children's Hospital, Providence, Rhode Island. Electronic address: AGoldberg@lifespan.org.
2
Hasbro Children's Hospital, Providence, Rhode Island.
3
Departments of Psychiatry and Pediatrics, Rhode Island Hospital, Providence, Rhode Island; Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island.
4
Department of Pediatrics, The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island; Hasbro Children's Hospital, Providence, Rhode Island.

Abstract

STUDY OBJECTIVE:

To describe the clinical characteristics of patients referred for domestic minor sex trafficking (DMST) to improve identification and intervention.

DESIGN:

Retrospective cohort study.

SETTING:

The Lawrence A. Aubin, Sr Child Protection Center at Hasbro Children's Hospital where patients are evaluated by child abuse pediatricians in outpatient, emergency department, and inpatient settings.

PARTICIPANTS:

A total of 41 patients younger than the age of 18 years referred for the evaluation of DMST involvement between August 1, 2013 and March 30, 2015.

INTERVENTIONS AND MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

We collected demographic, social-environmental, medical, and psychiatric variables from the medical records of patients referred for evaluation who have self-disclosed, been reported with evidence, and/or have histories that place them at high risk for DMST involvement.

RESULTS:

Children had frequent contact with medical providers, with 81% seen in the year before referral for DMST. Childhood maltreatment and family dysfunction were identified (sexual abuse, 21/37 or 57%; parental substance abuse, 22/37 or 60%) in the 41 patients. Children had medical problems (eg, sexually transmitted infection, 13/41 or 32%), psychiatric needs (eg, acute suicidality, 8/41 or 20%; at least 1 previous psychiatric admission, 19/41 or 46%), and substance use (36/41 or 88%). Although 26/41 (63%) had runaway and 17/41 (42%) lived in a group home placement, 28/41 (68%) currently lived at home and 29/41 (71%) presented with a parent/guardian or relative.

CONCLUSION:

Children referred for DMST present frequently to physicians and have complex medical and psychiatric needs. Medical providers' increased awareness of this health issue would inform victim identification and intervention.

KEYWORDS:

Commercial sexual exploitation of children; Domestic minor sex trafficking; Patient; Sexual abuse; Victim

PMID:
27575407
DOI:
10.1016/j.jpag.2016.08.010
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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