RHY Resources

Medical Treatment of Victims of Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence

This issue brief examines the procedures and protocols that currently exist for assessing and treating victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in healthcare settings in an effort to evaluate their applicability to victims of human trafficking. Given the similar trauma experienced by victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking, the procedures and protocols for domestic violence and sexual assault offer the best foundation on which to learn from and build proper response systems for victims of human trafficking. Since the procedures and protocols related to domestic violence and sexual assault typically focus on the sexual nature of the offense, this issue brief will primarily focus on victims of sex trafficking as well as victims of labor trafficking who are sexually assaulted.


Power and Control Wheel

Polaris Project created this wheel by adapting it from the Domestic Abuse Intervention Project's Duluth Model Power and Control Wheel (www.duluthmodel.org). The Power and Control wheel looks at the various tactics of traffickers to maintain power and control over their victims.


Health Needs of Human Trafficking Victims

On September 22–23, 2008, the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) sponsored a national symposium focused on the health needs of human trafficking victims.1 This symposium developed from an exploratory study, funded by ASPE, examining how HHS programs are addressing the needs of victims of human trafficking. This symposium brought together health care workers and members of the anti-human trafficking community to discuss trafficking victims’ health needs, how best to identify victims in health care settings, and ways that the health care system can provide improved and effective health care services to this population.


This brief presents an overview of the major topic areas discussed during the National Symposium on the Health Needs of Human Trafficking Victims. The brief focuses primarily on the post-session discussions and suggestions to improve the delivery of health services to victims.


Evidence-Based Mental Health Treatment for Human Trafficking Victims

In relation to the Issue Briefs, the Department for Health and Human Services developed additional resources looking at topics in a more in-depth manor. This particular brief examines the evidence-based research for treating common mental health conditions experienced by victims of human trafficking.


Understanding Victims’ Mindset

Developed by Polaris Project, this document explores the reasons and mindsets for individuals who are unable to and might be hesitant to leave a trafficking situation.

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