Human Trafficking and Violence Prevention Education

Human trafficking happens everywhere; labor and sex trafficking occurs in the most rural towns and the busiest cities alike. In the U.S. many cases are reported, but many more often go unnoticed. An estimated 88% of human trafficking victims seek healthcare while actively being trafficked and are not likely to self-report their abuse through the course of a routine screening. Domestic violence and intimate partner violence are silent issues in our communities as well. Across the nation, more than 10 million adults experience domestic violence annually. 1 in 4 women and 1 in 10 men experience sexual violence, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner during their lifetime. Adverse health consequences associated with domestic violence or intimate partner violence often bring patients who are abused in contact with health care professionals. Hence, it is imperative that health care providers are well-versed in trauma-informed care practices, equipped to recognize signs, and aware of resources available to care for patients experiencing trauma. 

In accordance with the CommonSpirit Health mission, CHI Health aims to improve trauma-informed care practices and better serve violence and trafficking victims within our healthcare facilities and larger communities. All CHI Health locations across the Lower Midwest have adopted CommonSpirit Health’s Violence Prevention Program and Human Trafficking Response Program to create division-wide domestic violence and human trafficking policies and educational opportunities for all staff members, supported by the CommonSpirit Foundation. This includes yearly mandatory training for patient-facing staff, as well as easily accessible information and resources to maintain knowledge of proper protocol when interacting with possible victims or confirmed survivors of trauma. 

As part of this effort, the Forensic Nurse Examiner (FNE) Program is on the front lines of caring for patients 24/7, in-person or via TeleHealth at any of our Lower Midwest campuses. The FNE Program seeks to reduce the physical and psychological trauma of sexual assault, human trafficking, and domestic violence victims through sensitive and timely medical examinations performed by specially trained nurse examiners and through the collaboration of the interdisciplinary community response teams.