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Understanding the Physical and Psychological Health and Wellness Needs of Minor Sex Trafficking Victims

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Project Summary:

Sex trafficking victimization is associated with numerous negative physical and psychology consequences, but little is known about the specific health concerns facing youth who experience sex trafficking. Additionally, more information is needed about how young people who are exploited obtain or struggle to obtain medical and mental health care. In this project, Professors Amy Farrell and Carlos Cuevas and their research team are conducting a study of the physical and psychological consequences of minor sex trafficking in the U.S. The primary goals of this research are to understand short- and long-term physical and psychological health concerns for minor sex trafficking victims and determine whether survivors have elevated health risks. This project also aims to inform providers about the health needs of minor sex trafficking victims and the barriers they experience in accessing healthcare.

Project Description:

This project is surveying approximately 500 minor sex trafficking survivors to evaluate their short- and long-term physical and psychological health concerns, health risk behaviors, and access to physical and psychological health services. These surveys are supplemented with qualitative interviews of adult survivors of minor sex trafficking to provide context and explore longer-term health impacts of trafficking.

Research is being funded by the National Institute of Justice and conducted in partnership with researchers from the University of New Hampshire, Boston University, and RTI International. A team of doctoral, masters and undergraduate students work with Professors Farrell and Cuevas on this project.

External Partners

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