All the darkness we don't see

Julia Geynisman-Tan, Jolyn S. Taylor, Terri Edersheim, Debra Taubel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Trafficking of women and children for sexual exploitation is the fastest growing criminal enterprise in the world. This is a public health crisis; as physicians who have direct contact with victims, we have a unique opportunity to intervene. The authors developed a specialty clinic for survivors of sex trafficking in 2013 at an academic medical center in New York City. Twenty of the 24 women seen in the Survivor Clinic saw a physician while being trafficked. Sex trafficking violates basic human rights, which include the rights to bodily integrity, dignity, health, and freedom from violence and torture. The stories of the patients seen in the Survivor Clinic bear witness to the health consequences of commercial sexual exploitation and reinforce the previous literature on the rates of physical and psychologic harms of trafficking. Health consequences of trafficking include traumatic brain injuries, drug addiction, depression, and neglect of chronic health conditions. All physicians, but gynecologists especially, need more education about the prevalence and dynamics of trafficking and how to assess and intervene on behalf of survivors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135.e1-135.e5
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017


  • sex trafficking
  • social justice
  • underserved care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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