Risk Factors for Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking in the United States: A Literature Review

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Background: Domestic minor sex trafficking (DMST) is an important social and public health problem, but it has received little attention from healthcare professionals in research, practice, and policy. Prevention and early victim identification efforts for this population are severely limited or entirely absent.

Purpose: The aim of this study was to integrate evidence on risk factors for DMST and critically appraise the quality and quantity of nursing literature on DMST.

Methods: This literature review was reported using PRISMA criteria. Three databases (CINAHL, PsychInfo, and PubMed) were searched using various terms for (a) human trafficking, (b) risk factors, and (c) children.

Discussion: Demographic factors were not important predictors of DMST. Childhood maltreatment trauma and running away from home were the most important risk factors for trafficking victimization. There was little nursing literature on the topic of DMST.

Conclusion: Nurses and other healthcare professionals must engage in confronting DMST by improving early identification of victims and conducting high-quality research to inform practice.

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