Intersections between Sex Trafficking and Intimate Partner Violence (IPV)


Tammy Schultz, PhD, LMHC & Hannah Estabrook, MA, LPCC-S | September 19 | 4:00-5:00 PM

Topic: Direct Service, Research | Knowledge Level: Intermediate, Advanced | Location: TBD

Sex trafficking and intimate partner violence (IPV) are global social justice issues in which vulnerable and marginalized individuals are harmed in significant and overlapping ways. The presenters analyzed the extant literature on sex trafficking and IPV and drew upon their own research with participants exiting sex trafficking through CATCH Court (Canning & Schultz, 2019; Schultz, Canning, & Eveleigh, 2018). This presentation is based on their mixed-methods findings. The presenters analyzed quantitative data based on participants (N = 60) enrolled in the Changing Actions to Change Habits (CATCH) Court in Franklin County, Ohio. Qualitative interviews with participants (N = 19) enrolled in the Changing Actions to Change Habits (CATCH) Court also provided insights based on participant completion of 90-minute life story interviews and life maps. Their findings revealed that abusive dynamics (e.g., coercive control, physical and sexual violence, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), and fatal injuries) are mirrored in both forms of interpersonal violence and that pimp and sex buyer abuse perpetrated against sex trafficked individuals is more accurately understood using an IPV lens. The intersections of coercive control and violence between sex trafficking and IPV calls for clinicians to provide trauma-informed therapy, and specifically an awareness of IPV, as they work with sex trafficked individuals.

Presentation Objectives:

·  Discuss the dynamics of coercive control, physical and sexual violence, traumatic brain injuries experienced by survivors of sex trafficking

·  Discuss the dynamics of coercive control, physical and sexual violence, traumatic brain injuries experienced survivors of intimate partner violence

·  Explain counseling implications as a result of the comparable forms of abuse dynamics that characterize both sex trafficking and IPV

About the Presenters