Human sex trafficking is a worldwide issue that affects millions of people. Victims of this industry undergo numerous traumatic events, which greatly impact their lives. Given the prevalence and traumatic nature of the sex trafficking industry, there is a need to raise greater awareness of victims’ experiences. The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of 15 female survivors of sex trafficking, who shared their stories on equalitynow.org. Using phenomenology, the researchers answered the following questions: “What are the experiences of female survivors of sexual human trafficking within the industry?” and “How do survivors make sense of those experiences?” The analysis resulted in 6 themes and 10 subthemes that describe the lived experiences of female survivors of sex trafficking. Clinical implications and future research recommendations are discussed.


Sex Trafficking, Trauma, Victimization, Violence, Phenomenology

Author Bio(s)

Tetiana Sukach*, Natali Gonzalez Castañeda*, and Jaclyn Cravens Pickens, are affiliated with the Marriage and Therapy Program in the Department of Community, Family, and Addiction Science at Texas Tech University, 2500 Broadway Avenue, Lubbock, TX, 79409. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: tetiana.sukach@ttu.edu.

* denotes equal contribution as first authors

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.





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