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Human trafficking: Common diagnoses and the treatment of sexual exploitation

by Jessica Grace Black
ProQuest Dissertations and Theses ()

Abstract

This study focused on victims of sexual exploitation through human trafficking. It was an exploratory study of the common diagnoses and treatments among sexually exploited men and women, as well as child survivors of human trafficking. The study's participants, 30 service providers from the United States, responded to the solicitations regarding their history of treatment to victims in these groups, and provided information about their educational and certification backgrounds. In order to be included in the study, the participants must have been working with victims of the sex industry who were held against their will and who had been victims of sexual human trafficking. Nominal data were gathered by survey and then summarized in tables and interpreted based on frequency distributions. The survey included various components, such as most common diagnoses encountered, and the treatment used based on those diagnoses with victims of human trafficking. There were two hypotheses addressing common diagnoses and common treatments. The first hypothesis predicted that common diagnoses for survivors of sexual exploitation through human trafficking would include substance abuse disorders, identity and mood disorders, and posttraumatic stress disorder. The second hypothesis addressed the common treatments for sexually exploited victims of human trafficking. The findings showed that the most common type of diagnosis encountered among those providing treatment was posttraumatic stress disorder. The surveys indicated that the most frequent modality of treatment provided to the victims of sexual human trafficking was individual therapy. No specific theory was determined. Theoretical and clinical implications of the results are discussed as well as limitations of the study and suggestions for future research.

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