Updated: Dec 1, 2020
Published April 24, 2019
To raise awareness of National Child Abuse Month, the UNC Charlotte School of Nursing has taken a relentless approach in addressing this hard-hitting topic within the Charlotte community. The school invited On Eagles Wings Ministries and Youth4Abolition™ to present an overview on child sexual exploitation in the Carolinas and how to address abuse within a medical context.
Representatives from the 501(c)(3) nonprofit presented a ‘Human Trafficking 101’ training module at the school in April. The training session was implemented into the school’s Nursing Seminar II curriculum and received by 58 graduating seniors, who received certifications of completion after the training
The presentation provided a comprehensive overview of human trafficking, and the prevalence of the associated crimes within U.S. borders. Also discussed were the interpersonal strategies used by individuals seeking to exploit children and online security practices for families.
Suggested personal safety tips to prevent a potential trafficking situation include: 1. Identify feelings, state of mind and surroundings 2. Avoid being in the wrong place at the wrong time 3. Protect personal information while online and use gender-neutral usernames 4. Contact 911 in case of emergency or reach the National Human Trafficking hotline at 1-888-373-7888
Jeanette, a Youth4Abolition™ volunteer with 23 years of nursing experience, shared her knowledge of how new nurses can conduct assessments individually in a safe environment to foster healing and recovery. “After seeing human trafficking with my own eyes and learning that it happened here in our community, I felt compelled to be involved by spreading awareness,” she said.
Identification of potential victims include physical indicators of trauma, tattoos, branding, or other abnormal medical history identifiers, while behavioral indicators include depressed mood, anxiety, panic attacks or hyper-vigilance.
Jeanette leaves new or aspiring nurses with her top four pieces of advice for entering the field: 1. Ask the right questions to screen patients for potential indicators 2. Ensure the patient has access to a safe environment 3. Know what resources are available to patients and make referrals as needed 4. Communicate messages of hope
Any student, group or hospital in the nursing or medical field interested in learning more about human trafficking within a patient-care centered approach, please reach out to us by email at admin@oewHOPE.org and mention the ‘Human Trafficking 101 for Nursing and Medical Professionals’ course.”