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6.0 Trauma

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Human Trafficking Training
Lesson Six: Trauma

"We were conditioned to do what we were told,

to satisfy the gruesome desires of men.

My identity, value and innocence were stolen from me. "

Trauma: The Aftermath of Trafficking


Many DMST (Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking) victims have suffered from previous mental, physical, psychological, or sexual abuse. Because of the high degree of trauma victims often exhibit a complex set of symptoms while in their rescue and recovery processes. 

Remember this young girl from our first lesson?

Beautiful, vibrant, and full of life. Below is the same young girl, following a series of arrests, as she endured the harsh and ugly world of sex trafficking. Many times a trafficker will force his his or her victim to do drugs because they know once they are addicted, their chances of escaping become almost nonexistent. Every arrest that took place was a missed opportunity to help rescue her from the life of human trafficking.

Trauma Experiences

  • They are drugged

  • Their bodies are used in unintended ways

  • They are beaten

  • They are arrested

  • They are put in jail

The trauma experience depends on:

  • Age of victim

  • Age of perpetrator

  • Relationship of perpetrator

  • Type of abuse/trauma

  • Cultural factors

  • Personality of victims & resiliency

  • Existence of violence

  • Presence of a support system

  • Age of victim disclosure

  • Reaction of family/friends at disclosure

Trauma Bonding (Pimp Control)

This type of bonding occurs between the trafficker and his or her victim. There are several three different ways in which this binding can occur:

Trauma Bonding

Finesse Pimp
  • Protective, Caring  Father Figure
  • Cute, adoring
  • Connected, flattering

Gorilla Pimp
  • Violence and threats
  • Isolation
  • Helplessness

  • False sense of family
  • Violence and threats
  • Helplessness