Analyzing Human Trafficking Survivor Intervention and Violence in Rural Ohio: A Community-Based Anthropological Approach


Jaymelee J. Kim, PhD & Leigha S. Shoup, MS, RA | September 20 | 11:30 AM-12:30 PM

Topic: Research | Knowledge Level: Intermediate, Advanced

Research regarding intervention and prevention for human trafficking in the rural US is limited and often does not include qualitative or ethnographic data. However, research presented here is based on a collaborative, community-based project in Northwest Ohio. Conducted in partnership with Crime Victim Services, this presentation will cover several relevant topics. The presenters will first define and describe a community-based anthropological approach to studying human trafficking survivor services with detail on research design and methodologies (e.g. participant observation, observation, interviewing). They will also discuss unique needs of survivors in a rural community along with resource availabilities. The research findings include challenges faced by survivors, including other forms of violence within the service framework; identifying survivor’s needs regarding reintegration; and issues specifically faced by survivor advocates serving rural geographies. As survivors of human trafficking are identified and start working with local community agencies, it is crucial that survivors are receiving services by trauma-informed agencies. Survivors thrive in an environment that truly understands trauma and its effects on the brain. As research on trauma progresses and our knowledge expands, we need to put forth the same effort and vigor on research of human trafficking survivors within a rural community.

Presentation Objectives:

·  Pinpoint challenges faced by service providers in rural US geographies.

·  Communicate how violence can continue within the service framework.

·  Identify survivor needs in rural geographies.

·  Demonstrate how to design a collaborative, anthropological approach to applied research in human trafficking interventions.

About the Presenters