Florida Public Health Review


Florida ranks fourth in the United States in reports of human trafficking. Human trafficking is the second largest international criminal industry in the world. Globally, 80% of all transnational victims are women and girls, and half of all trafficked victims are children. Approximately $32 billion are generated annually from this global trade. The public health consequences include physical, sexual, and psychological trauma, as well as addiction and violence. Healthcare providers represent part of a safety net of professionals who may have the ability and access for identifying and assisting victims of trafficking. This study was investigated Florida nurses’ knowledge of sex trafficking and attitudes toward victims of sex trafficking. The study sample included 74 Florida nurses. Overall, participants reported high self-efficacy for identification and treatment of sex trafficking victims, but lower factual knowledge about trafficking. Attitude scores in this sample also suggest a moderate level of negative bias toward victims of trafficking. Nurses need increased knowledge of sex trafficking, including knowledge of policies. Cultural competence training may also help to address biases held by healthcare professionals.