Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children: An Update for the Forensic Nurse


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Abstract

Commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) is the sexual abuse of children through buying, selling, or trading their sexual services. This may involve engaging a child under the age of 18 years in prostitution, pornography, stripping, exotic dancing, escort services, or other sexual services. CSEC is a problem of epidemic proportions throughout the world including the United States; however, the actual number of CSEC victims in the United States is unknown. Studies indicate that most child victims are seen by a healthcare provider while being trafficked and that many victims receive care at a pediatric hospital within 1 year of their identification as a victim. CSEC is a significant pediatric healthcare problem. It is vital that forensic nurses possess a thorough understanding of the problem and be poised to better identify, intervene, and prevent CSEC. In this article, we focus on risk factors commonly experienced by victims, recruitment strategies used by traffickers, indicators to identify child victims, and intervention and educational strategies of relevance to forensic nurses.

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