Learn more about Sex Trafficking Intervention
Join the Fight with ETG against sex trafficking
Over the last decade, thousands of domestic sex trafficking victims have been identified and offered services. Though there is little evidence-based research on the mental health treatment of victims of human trafficking, one disturbing trend cannot be ignored: “(Victims) are usually extremely loyal to their trafficker. Oftentimes they do not self-identify as victims and do not actively seek escape….The power of psychological bonds is very strong.” To date, most traditional interventions and therapeutic responses do not address this apparent attachment to traffickers, as well as the connection a victim may feel to a lifestyle characterized by sexual exploitation. Thus, the underlying cause remains hidden, or is never addressed.
The crime of sex trafficking is defined as “causing a person to engage in commercial sex acts by use of force, fraud or coercion.” Though usually presented together there is a difference between force, fraud and coercion. Force is generally an overt act, and while fraud manipulates surface beliefs, coercion manipulates core beliefs. Coercion is invisible, intended to elude even the victim. Despite coercion being unseen, it is the key to understanding the lingering attachment to a trafficker or to a life characterized by commercial sexual exploitation.
Whether resolute to return, wavering in ambivalence, or desperately trying to suppress a desire to return, many victims experience some level of attachment to traffickers and/or “the game.” It is a troubling and perplexing reality that many victims feel powerless to combat. However, in our current system of care, once there has been a physical separation from a trafficker, we place the burden on victims to make use of services on their own, without guidance or a clear understanding of what mind control is, and why they may feel an urge to return to the person/s who have victimized them.
 The Polaris Project (2012). Shelter beds for human trafficking survivors in the United States. Washington, DC
 US Dept. of Health and Human Services (2010). Evidence-based mental health treatment for victims of human trafficking. Washington, DC
 Quote from Craig Williams, Senior Agent, Oklahoma Human Trafficking Unit in “Facts and Fiction of Human Trafficking in Oklahoma” The Daily Ardmoreite. 16 Dec. 2013
 22 U.S.C. § 7102(8)(A).
 Hassan, Steve. (1988) Combatting Cult Mind Control
 Pimpin’ Ken., & Hunter, K. (2008). Pimpology: The 48 laws of the game. Simon & Schuster.
For more information on Ending The Game © please email Office@SowersEducationGroup.com.