Project

Sex trafficking for social workers

This project involved the creation of a 60-minute training session for entry-level social workers to test the impact, according to them, on their level of preparedness to either prevent or intervene with survivors/potential victims of human trafficking. A multi-source research approach was taken to gather information from not only from academic sources, but also other relevant and credible sources—ranging from government to academic, journalist to pimp-published, experienced social workers to sex trafficking survivors, rap music to documentary videos—that would enrich the presented understanding of sex trafficking: how to combat it, prevent it, and help victims become survivors. The training curriculum presented: 1) a succinct introduction to the complex reality of sex trafficking; 2) the advantageous positioning of Child Welfare Systems to protect and to intervene; 3) the mindset and techniques of pimp subculture; 4) typical effects of pimp trafficking to include “Stockholm Syndrome,” “trauma bond,” or “thought-reform,” and “dissociative” symptoms; and 6) guidance on identifying and intervening on behalf of sex trafficking victims. The results of the bivariate test, using a pre- and post-test before and after the 60-minute training, showed that the students experienced a significant self-perceived increase in understanding the problem of sex trafficking, as well as, an understanding of how to intervene for victims of sex trafficking.

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