RISK FACTORS, PROTECTIVE FACTORS, AND IDENTIFICATION PRACTICES FOR SYSTEM-INVOLVED DOMESTIC MINOR SEX TRAFFICKING SURVIVORS Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
Creator
  • O'Brien, Jennifer
    • Affiliation: School of Social Work
Abstract
  • Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking (DMST) is the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of US minors for the purposes of commercial sex. The prevalence of DMST is unknown; however, anecdotal and empirical evidence suggest that DMST victims/survivors often become clients in the child welfare and/or juvenile justice systems. Unfortunately, identification of survivors within these state-level systems is inconsistent, which limits available legal protections as well as potential treatment options. This three-paper dissertation contributes to the extant knowledge about system-involved DMST survivors by exploring risk factors, protective factors, and identification practices for this uniquely vulnerable group of youth. The first paper is a methodological research note describing the challenges of recruiting and collecting data from victims/survivors of DMST. In addition to detailed descriptions of the recruitment procedures used for this dissertation, the manuscript also reports the challenges, successes, and lessons learned through the participant recruitment process. Recommendations for future research and recruitment protocols are provided. The second paper presents exploratory qualitative findings regarding service provider and DMST victim/survivor de facto definitions of DMST. This manuscript also explores ways in which victim/survivor and service provider definitions are different from and/or similar to extant federal and state legal definitions. Such differences may impact current DMST victim/survivor identification procedures, and shed light on reasons why current victim/survivor identification is- at best- inconsistent. Qualitative content analysis revealed important differences between DMST victim/survivor and service provider definitions of DMST as well as several important differences between participants’ definitions of DMST and extant federal and state legal definitions of DMST. Implications for policy, practice, and identification protocols are discussed. The third paper explores the role of interpersonal relationship in the lives of system-involved DMST survivors from the perspectives of DMST survivors and experienced DMST service providers. Qualitative interviews with DMST victims/survivors and experienced service providers indicate that interpersonal relationships may promote risk, provide protection, and foster resiliency against initial and/or ongoing sexual exploitation. Findings provide a context for understanding the role of interpersonal relationships in the lives of DMST survivors as well as point to directions for future intervention development.
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Rights statement
  • In Copyright
Advisor
  • Duncan, Dean, III
  • Busch-Armendariz, Noël
  • Macy, Rebecca
  • Lanier, Paul
  • Rizo, Cynthia
Degree
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Graduation year
  • 2017
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