KK: Once we have the possible victim alone, should we be very direct or a bit more tangential with our questions?
Explore This IssueACEP Now: Vol 37 – No 04 – April 2018
CD: This will be one of those answers every lawyer and doctor hates: It depends. It depends on the person asking the questions. If you have one of your nurses in the ER who has been there for 20 years, and she is phenomenal at getting victims of domestic violence and human trafficking to talk to her due to a slow, methodical and caring approach, then you let her do it her way. Or you may have other people just come right out and say, “Honey, who is that guy in the waiting room, he’s not your husband. What is going on?” And that might work. It’s very personally driven, and it’s very situation specific. Go with your strength.
As an FBI agent, I’ve been in ERs and I know that intake questioning list can be fine-tuned to get at the trafficking situation. “So, are you safe in your home?” She will lie to you and say, “Yes.” If you just keep drilling into her domestic situation, you might be able to get at it. “So who lives in your home with you?” Well, right away, Kevin, that presumes she has a home. These domestic trafficking victims don’t have a home. They go from hotel to hotel to hotel. “Are you safe in your home? Where do you live? How long have you lived there? Do you rent?” Really try to delve into tripping her up in the answers and getting her to admit what’s going on. That’s really the key, along with asking her who else you should call. “Is there a grandmother, an aunt, a teacher? Is there somebody else I can call who can come down and be with you? You don’t have to stay with him.”
KK: That’s a great approach. Thank you very much for your time, Cynthia.