Posts tagged 19:4:00
Traumatic Experiences, Post-Traumatic Stress, and Quality of Life Among Women Incarcerated in a State Prison System

Researchers conducted voluntary face-to-face interviews with women incarcerated in a Southern state prison (n=83) regarding their health, quality of life, and justice-related experiences using a cross-sectional approach. PTS severity was captured using the PTSD Checklist for DSM-5 with Life Events Checklist for DSM-5 (Weathers et al., 2013). Traumatic experiences of current focus include sexual assault; other unwanted or uncomfortable sexual experiences; and captivity. Quality of life (QOL) was captured using the World Health Organization Quality of Life Scale-BREF (Bonomi, Patrick, Bushnell, & Martin, 2000). Independent sample t-tests identified significant differences of PTS severity and QOL among women who self-reported having experienced the above traumas directly and those who did not report direct experiences. Women who reported experiencing these traumatic experiences reported significantly higher average PTS severity than their non-affected counterparts (r= .28 - .40). Women who reported experiencing unwanted sexual experiences or captivity also reported significantly lower environmental QOL than their non-affected peers (r=.30 - .35). Significant relationships between having enough money to meet one’s needs and sexual assault (r=-.33, p=.002), other unwanted sexual experiences (r=-.28., p=.01), and captivity (r=-.32, p=.003) may indicate that financial security serves as a mediator of trauma and QOL among women incarcerated in state prisons. Implications related to vocational training and job opportunities in carceral settings for women will be discussed, within the context of key trauma-informed care principles. Dr. Amber McDonald, part-time faculty at the University of Louisville Kent’s School of Social Work, is a contributing author of this presentation.

Presentation Objectives:

·  Provide an overview of a study exploring relationships among traumatic experiences, post-traumatic stress (PTS), and quality of life (QOL) among women incarcerated in a state prison system (N=83).

·  Describe relationships between traumatic experiences, PTS, and QOL

·  Showcase findings regarding sexual assault or other unwanted or uncomfortable sexual experiences, captivity, PTS, and QOL among a sample of women incarcerated in a state prison system

·  Discuss practice implications related to primary study findings

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First You RISE, Then You Soar

Recovering Individuals from Sexual Exploitation (R.I.S.E.) is a program of The Salvation Army in Northwest Ohio that seeks to empower survivors of trafficking and exploitation through holistic and intensive case management, support groups, and resource connections. Survivors of trafficking and exploitation have experienced immense complex trauma, and it has been found that traditional methods of addressing the needs don’t always prove the most beneficial (Polaris Project & Sanar Wellness Institute, 2015; Williamson, Dutch & Clawson, 2010; Xiong, 2008). For that reason, this project focuses on utilizing creative expressions and equine-assisted therapeutic activities to positively impact the survivors’ journey. This was realized through a collaborative grant between R.I.S.E., Issue Box Theatre, The Expressive Therapies Center, and Serenity Farm Equestrian Center through the generosity of the Lucas County Human Trafficking Coalition. This presentation will cover the process of collaborating across four unique yet interconnected fields (social work, art therapy, theatre, and equine-assisted therapy) as well as how the clients themselves responded to the activities. First, each presenter will share a brief background of their area of expertise and how it provides healing to survivors of human trafficking and exploitation, using research to support their perspectives. Second, each presenter will share the experience of working with R.I.S.E. survivors as well as working in a collaborative fashion across disciplines. Then, the presenters will provide qualitative responses shared from the survivors who were part of this project. Finally, the presenters will give overall feedback as well as suggestions for those wishing to facilitate similar activities and collaborations.

Presentation Objectives:

·  Discuss efficacy of art-based initiatives

·  Provide clarification on the differences between “therapeutic intervention” and “therapy”

·  Share responses of survivors to creative interventions and their process of imagining a brighter future

·  Present findings of evidence-based and best-practices related to creative interventions for survivors of trauma and trafficking

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Intent vs Impact: Advocating for The Vulnerable

Good intentions are the driving force behind current legislation and policies directed at helping those who are trafficked. However, by overlooking the voices of the most vulnerable, these seemingly progressive acts have unintended consequences, even making trafficking more likely. Using recent examples including FOSTA/SESTA, strip club legislation, and raids on sexual oriented businesses (SOB), the presenters will demonstrate how efforts to end trafficking often blur the lines between trafficking and sex work and end up perpetuating the problem we seek to eradicate. They will then discuss how activists can learn from these shortcomings and develop more inclusive policies that will genuinely work towards ending trafficking while still protecting people who perform consensual erotic labor.

Presentation Objectives:

·  Define sex work versus sex trafficking, the spectrum of agency within the sex trade, and criminalized, legalized, and decriminalized models for prostitution

·  Highlight various pieces of legislation targeting sex workers across the country

·  Provide examples of real abuse and exploitation happening in SOB, gentlemen’s clubs, and adult entertainment venues

·  Illustrate how decriminalization initiatives grant greater access to support, resources, and non-sex work economic opportunities

·  Offer suggestions to anti-trafficking advocates on ways to be inclusive toward sex workers when developing policy strategies, rescue interventions, and/or outreach

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Emerging Themes in Human Trafficking: An Extensive Review of Case Summaries

This presentation will present findings from an extensive review of 33 case studies of suspected victims of human trafficking. These case studies spanned three states over the course of two years. Each case study was analyzed by two research fellows to identify initial themes. A second review was conducted by two research scientists and consensus was obtained on the four themes. They include patient characteristics, trafficker characteristics, process improvement and point of entry. The research team has defined patient characteristics as any detail about the appearance, personality or behavior of the potential human trafficking victim. This is similar to the definition for the theme of trafficker characteristics. Process improvement is defined as characteristics that describe the overall process from the time patients presented to the hospital until they were discharged. These could include failure to identify potential human trafficking victims, gaps in following protocol, and opportunities for improvement in the overall care of the patient. Lastly, Port of Entry is defined as the location of first contact with the patient. These findings will be used to help improve the identification and care of the HT victim.  Additional research studies have been planned as a result of these qualitative study, including a comprehensive analysis of the medical treatment that HT victims received.

Presentation Objectives:

·  Discuss the common themes that emerged from the reviewed case studies and their impact on further research inquiries

·  Identify criteria that could be used to build a template for future case study audits

·  Identify areas of success and opportunities for improvement in the overall care of potential HT victims

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Intersections between Sex Trafficking and Intimate Partner Violence (IPV)

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

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