Knowledge and Attitudes of Physicians in Kansas Regarding Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking

Authors

  • Ashley Reinhard Wichita State University
  • Ina Whitacre
  • Ashley M Hervey
  • Gina M Berg

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.17161/kjm.v5i4.11424

Keywords:

sex offenses, sexual behavior, minors, health knowledge, attitudes, practice, physicians, Kansas

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Domestic minor sex trafficking (DMST) has been reported increasingly in the news as a problem in Kansas. It is essential that healthcare providers are educated about the topic and feel confident in their ability to identify and report a victim. The purpose of this study was to explore Kansas physicians’ knowledge, attitude, and training regarding DMST. METHODOLOGY: A 20-question survey was e-mailed to 1,668 physicians registered with the Kansas Board of Healing Arts in the specialties: family medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics/ gynecology, and emergency medicine. RESULTS: Of those emailed, 69 (4%) responded to the survey. Those that responded agreed that DMST was a problem in the US (86%; n = 59) and Kansas (80%; n = 55). Of the respondents, only 12% (n = 8) felt confident in identifying a victim and only 11% (n = 8) screened patients for DMST. Over half (61%; n = 42) reported encountering possible signs of DMST in patients, however, only few suspected DMST. CONCLUSION: Physicians reported encountering victims of DMST in their practices, which indicated the existence of DMST in Kansas. Survey respondents were lacking in knowledge regarding DMST. Further, their suspicion of DMST victimization (based on presentation), was rarely followed through with reporting. Training, for symptom recognition, victim identification, and proper reporting, is necessary for Kansas physicians as they are often the only professional to come in contact with DMST victims.

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Published

2012-11-27

How to Cite

Reinhard, A., Whitacre, I., Hervey, A. M., & Berg, G. M. (2012). Knowledge and Attitudes of Physicians in Kansas Regarding Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking. Kansas Journal of Medicine, 5(4), 142–153. https://doi.org/10.17161/kjm.v5i4.11424

Issue

Section

Case Reports