Date of Award

2018

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy of Marriage and Family Therapy (DMFT)

Department

College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences – Department of Family Therapy

Advisor

Tommie V. Boyd

Committee Member

Kara Erolin

Abstract

Human trafficking is prevalent globally, nationally and locally. In the state of Florida, there are many victims of domestic and international human trafficking. Therapists work in settings where they come in contact with victims of human trafficking while they are still in captivity. However, many therapists lack the training and resources to identify victims of human trafficking in the therapeutic setting, and so many of these victims go unidentified. While there are several human trafficking identification tools, none are designed exclusively for therapists to identify both international and domestic victims of sex trafficking. To address this need, I developed the Roberts Human Trafficking Tool (RHTT). This assessment used a collaborative approach for therapists to identify youths who are domestic and international victims of sex trafficking. This project utilized one action research cycle to obtain therapists’ feedback and suggestions for the improvement of the tool. To do this, I trained four stakeholders who were human trafficking therapists in South Florida on the assessment who utilized it among themselves and provided feedback for its advancement. This feedback was used to make changes to improve the tool. The findings indicate that the Roberts Human Trafficking Tool is a unique and interactive tool that helps break barriers in working with the human trafficking population. An important prerequisite for the effective utilization of the RHTT assessment is training therapists on human trafficking and on utilizing the tool.

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