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  1. Rapoza, Sarah PhD, RN, CEN, CNE


Sex trafficking often goes unrecognized, yet is a pervasive issue that disproportionately affects marginalized populations. Survivors suffer adverse health effects and often present to health care facilities while still under control of their traffickers. Health care providers, including nurses and advanced practice nurses, lack understanding of risk factors, signs and symptoms, and means of offering assistance. A comprehensive literature search was conducted utilizing EBSCOhost and WorldCat. Studies were considered eligible for inclusion if subject matter dealt directly with domestic sex trafficking and included implications for health care or health care education. There are some identified risk factors that place people at higher risk for victimization and survivors may present for care with a common symptom, including physical and mental health issues. Barriers to care include both survivor and health care system characteristics; however, health care providers can undertake specific actions to help overcome these barriers. Health care providers are in a prime position to identify and assist sex trafficking survivors. However, they need to be aware of common risk factor presentations, and they need to be trained to offer assistance. Ongoing research is needed to determine the best way to develop, introduce, and evaluate these trainings.