Barriers to Access, Disclosure, and Identification in Healthcare for Potentially Trafficked Youth in Vermont
Methods. Literature review followed by surveys administered to Vermont healthcare providers (HCP) and at-risk youth (ARY) from state drop-in centers.
Results. Of 104 HCP respondents, 51% were unaware that human trafficking was an issue in Vermont, 77.9% indicated the need for education, and 19.2% interviewed patients alone <50% of the time. 98 ARY responded to the survey. Of youth who participated in activities suggestive of human trafficking, 69% did not go to the doctor and they listed the following as reasons why: 78% were scared and 44% were told not to go. Only 11% of youth who were hurt for other reasons did not go to the doctor. Additionally, 13% of previous foster care youth (FCY) were forced to do something they did not want to and 22% needed to have sex for something as compared to 2% and 10% respectively of non-FCY.
Conclusions. ARY participate in activities suggestive of human trafficking. Increased awareness among HCP regarding human trafficking is needed. Barriers to care listed by ARY (being scared, etc.) coupled with <50% of ARY being interviewed alone by physicians may further prevent ARY from seeking care. Furthermore, FCY may be at greater risk for trafficking, survival sex and fear of accessing medical care. Quantifying trafficking in different geographic locations is an essential step in preventing this public health issue.
Learning Areas:Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related research
Describe the barriers to access to healthcare for potentially trafficked youth. Identify characteristics of potential high-risk populations for trafficking. Formulate strategies to raise awareness of potential human trafficking.
Keyword(s): Public Health Research, Women's Health
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was involved in the design, implementation, data collection, analysis, writing and presentation of this project.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.