Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Human trafficking victims-Terminology-Psychological aspects, Human trafficking victims-Rehabilitation, Human trafficking victims-Mental health services, Cognitive therapy, Cultural psychiatry, Post-traumatic stress disorder in adolescence-Treatment, Domestic minor sex trafficking, Relational cultural theory, Trauma focused cognitive behavioral theory, Commercial sexual exploitation of children


This theoretical investigation explored the effect of pejorative labels on victims of domestic minor sex trafficking. Presently, children involved in domestic minor sex trafficking are perceived either as "victims" in need of services, or as "criminals," juvenile prostitutes, deserving punitive action. Due to the age and compounded vulnerability of this population, understanding the negative effect this can have on victims' identity development is crucial to providing appropriate and deserved treatment. This study utilized relational-cultural theory and trauma-focused cognitive behavioral theory to understand the impact of the criminalization of complex trauma and to provide a framework for clinical interventions with this population. In combination, these theoretical models provide a unique and appropriate treatment methodology for service providers working with victims and survivors of domestic minor sex trafficking.




iii, 71 p. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, 2013. Includes bibliographical references (p. 62-71)