Recognizing Victims of a Hidden Crime: Human Trafficking Victims in Your Pediatric Trauma Bay

Document Type


Publication Date



Human trafficking is the second largest criminal industry in the United States and almost half of the victims are children. This crime against children is referred to as domestic minor human sex trafficking (DMHST). The majority DMHST victims access health care, often at an emergency department, at some point during their captivity. Trafficking of minors has been cited as the most underreported form of child abuse making education on this topic essential for all health care providers to help meet the needs of this population. A case study provides an illustration of a pediatric trauma patient who was a victim of DMHST and presented to an emergency department for care. As nurses who care for pediatric trauma patients in all settings strive to learn more about child abuse, topics in DMHST should also be included in these educational activities.


Copyright © 2020 by the Society of Trauma Nurses.

A link to full text has been provided for authorized subscribers.

Publication Title

Journal of Trauma Nursing

Published Citation

Roney, Linda Nancy, and Caitlin Elizabeth Villano. "Recognizing victims of a hidden crime: human trafficking victims in your pediatric trauma bay." Journal of Trauma Nursing 27, no. 1 (2020): 37-41. doi: 10.1097/JTN.0000000000000480



Peer Reviewed