Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Human trafficking victims-Psychology, Resilience (Personality trait), Human trafficking, Resiliency, Protective factors, Sex trafficking, Cross-cultural


This qualitative study explores the salutogenic question as it relates to female survivors of human trafficking, "Why, when women are exposed to the same trauma which causes some to become ill, do some remain healthy?" Using a standardized open-ended interview format, this author gathered the perspectives of twelve health and social services providers, including executive directors, case management workers, mental health counselors, and advocates. This data was compiled and analyzed, alongside the existing literature on resiliency and within the framework of Salutogenic Theory. All participants identified protective factors that contribute to resiliency based on their professional work with female survivors in: Belgium, Colombia, France, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, the Philippines, Saipan, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and the United States. This study specifically highlights protective factors that are consistent cross culturally and can be used by providers of clinical treatment to develop more informed prevention and treatment programs for survivors of human trafficking. The findings are consistent with protective factors identified in current research and have been categorized into the themes of Relationships, Disposition, Education, and Environmental Factors. Participants emphasized factors that related to survivors' sense of belonging, including the protective nature of being a caregiver, as well as family of origin support, strong community relationships, and connection to religion. This study underscores the complexity and variation among these protective factors as they relate to survivors of human trafficking cross culturally.




iv, 111 p. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2012. Includes bibliographical references (p. 95-104)