Human Trafficking: The Nursing Implications of Trauma and Survival

Unique Education Opportunity: Thursday, January 25, 2018

By Megan Gavin

Megan Gavin
Megan Gavin
MNA Education Specialist

MNA Education Specialist


In our modern world, one wherein we access information in seconds and tech entrepreneurs plan tourism to Mars, we still face one of our oldest and ugliest problems: human bondage. Today we refer to this phenomenon as human trafficking, a human rights abuse that involves the exploitation of a person for labor or sex.

In a 2002 Congressional report, the authors identified the reasons human trafficking persists as “criminal businesses that feed on poverty, despair, war, crisis and ignorance.” Regrettably, we provide a seemingly limitless supply of fuel for such enterprises.

While anyone can become a trafficking victim, researchers have identified factors that significantly increase the risk. They include: poverty, disability, youth, racial or ethnic marginalization, immigration status, LGBTQ identity, homelessness, and fleeing a crisis. The problem of human trafficking intersects nearly every critical social justice issue facing our country today.

MNA is excited to welcome Dr. Donna Sabella to MNA to talk about “Human Trafficking: The Nursing Implications of Trauma and Survival.” Dr. Sabella is a mental health nurse, an international expert in human trafficking, former clinical nursing professor at Drexler University, and is the University of Massachusetts-Amherst College of Nursing’s first endowed chair. Dr. Sabella’s endowed professorship in Nursing and social Justice, and her academic mission is to “advance social justice in ways that will have lasting impact on students, communities and the nursing practice.”

In her February 2011 article, “The Role of the Nurse in Combating Human Trafficking,” published in the American Journal of Nursing, Sabella writes, “in a study of survivors of human trafficking in the San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Atlanta areas researches found that 28 percent had come into contact with healthcare providers during their captivity, the providers didn’t realize their patients were being trafficked.”

Sabella will speak on Thursday, January 25, 2018, from 5:30-8:00 pm. This program will address the related health risks of human trafficking; nurses will leave the training able to recognize signs that an individual is being trafficked and know how to intervene safely.

Please join us at MNA as we examine the unique role of the nurse in this crisis of human trafficking. Space is limited, so please RSVP as soon as possible.

2.4 nursing contact hours will be provided. Please click here to sign up for the event.

For registration questions contact Linda Owens at or 651-414-2822.


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