Doctor of Nursing Practice
Family Nurse Practioner
Year Degree Awarded
Month Degree Awarded
Human trafficking, education, training, sexual assault nurse examiner, nursing, emergency department
Donna Sabella, M.Ed., MSN, PhD, RN, PMHNP-BC
Human trafficking is a pervasive yet under-recognized public health epidemic. Traffickers use various forms of manipulation to control their victims for the benefit of the trafficker with little regard for the victims’ well-being. This leads to victims of human trafficking suffering short- and long-term health problems. Trafficking victims may subsequently access healthcare during their time in captivity as a result of a direct harm caused to them due to their victimization from neglect, injury or disease. Unfortunately, victims often do not see themselves as victims or are too afraid to let their healthcare provider know that they need help. Warning signs may be subtle. Educating healthcare providers most likely to come into contact with victims of human trafficking can lead to increased recognition and appropriately provided services to assist this population. Emergency services healthcare workers already trained as sexual assault responders are specially positioned for this role. In the state of New Hampshire, these Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANEs) work exclusively in emergency departments responding to concerns of sexual assault and domestic violence. SANEs are trained through a state-run program called the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. This training has room for growth to include recognition and response to victims of human trafficking.
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