A Description of Services Provided by U.S. Rehabilitation Centers for Domestic Sex Trafficking Survivors
Twigg, Naomi M.
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Sex trafficking is often referred to as modern day slavery. In the Trafficking in Persons Report 2012, there are 20.9 million worldwide trafficking victims. There are an estimated 244,000 U.S. children and youth at risk for domestic minor sex trafficking (DMST) and 100,000 to 300,000 DMST victims in the U.S. The detrimental effects of DMST include an array of psychological, behavioral and physical health conditions. An evident gap exists between the staggering number of youth trafficked in comparison to the limited number of U.S. rehabilitation centers for trafficking survivors. The purpose of this qualitative, descriptive research study was to provide a comprehensive description of services offered at rehabilitation centers for DMST survivors. An integrated model of Bronfenbrenner’s ecological theory and Macy and Johns’s framework for aftercare services to address sex trafficking survivors’ needs was used to guide this research study. Using a semi-structured interview guide, five telephone interviews were conducted with two founders, two directors of social services, and one program manager. This study provided a fuller understanding of the range of services offered across these rehabilitation centers and identified how providers categorized services to address DMST survivors’ immediate, ongoing and long-term needs. Ultimately, this study has advanced science by laying the foundation for future studies to develop best practice guidelines and an integrated care management model for DMST survivors.