This paper reports on a study of retrospective chart reviews of hospital patients who reported experiencing intimate partner violence and intimate partner-controlled labor trafficking; the authors suggest that their results may help to inform screening and intervention approaches in the healthcare and community settings, as well as inform future research these issues.
Human trafficking is the use of force, fraud, or coercion to compel a person into performing a commercial sex act or other labor services for a profit. Burgeoning research has shown perpetrators of labor trafficking (LT) can be anyone, including intimate partners. The current study utilized retrospective chart reviews of hospital patients who reported experiencing intimate partner violence (IPV) and intimate partner-controlled LT between October 2017 and July 2022. Sixteen patients were identified. All but one patient identified as female and the average age was 38 years old (M = 38.06, SD = 10.67). Most patients were White/Caucasian (50%) or Hispanic (43.8%) and were born in the U.S. (68.8%). Suicidal ideation/suicide attempt was the most frequently cited presenting problems. Depression (37.5%) and bipolar disorder (31.3%) were the most common primary diagnoses, and most patients had a comorbid substance use disorder (62.5%). Most patients either lived in their own home (37.5%), or in a shelter or on the street (37.5%) prior to coming to the hospital. Five cases were selected to be highlighted in a case series to describe the complex experiences of these patients. Cases examined include LT within retail, domestic work, illicit activities, peddling and begging, and other labor settings. The findings from this study can help to inform screening and intervention approaches in the healthcare and community settings, as well as inform future research on IPV and LT. (Published Abstracts Provided)