The Correlation Between Stockholm Syndrome and the “Bottom Girl” Training/Workshop “The Bottom Girl; Is She the Perpetuator or the Victim?”
September 10 | 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM | Room 3010A
This workshop will explore the correlation between Stockholm syndrome and victims of sex trafficking. Specifically, the correlation between Stockholm syndrome and the “bottom girl”. What could this mean for how we legally and ethically treat “bottom girls”?
Stockholm syndrome is a phenomenon in psychology that describes the unnatural behavior of a victim towards his/her captor or aggressor. The Stockholm syndrome usually develops out of “traumatic bonding”, which forms from the “strong emotional ties that develop between two persons where one person intermittently harasses, beats, threatens, abuses, or intimidates the other” (Dutton, 1981).
Individuals, usually known as “girls”, trapped in trafficking rings controlled by pimps, often referred to as “stables”, are controlled, in large part, by fear and the direct aggressive behavior of the pimp. Over time, these “girls” generally become physically and mentally attached towards their pimp. The desire to please their captor and earn his favor is often a strong motivation for a girl to work harder, comply more, and even help coerce and incite other girls to work for the pimp.
The existence of the “bottom girl” position actually helps to prove the main points of Stockholm Syndrome. The forced bond influences the girl so strongly that she makes the conscious choice to attempt to obtain this position in an effort to develop a closer bond with her captor.
1) Raise basic awareness about the correlation between Stockholm syndrome and victims caught in sex trafficking and exploitation, particularly “bottom girls”.
2) Discuss the relationship between the pimp/trafficker and the “girls” in his “stable” as well as the hierarchy among these girls.
3) Attendees will learn about research findings regarding the coercion and power dynamics between a pimp and/or trafficker over his victims.
Case studies will be presented, allowing for participants to further examine the correlation between victims of trafficking and Stockholm syndrome.
Interactive discussion will be encouraged.