Sex trafficking is a significant health and human rights concern that impacts millions of adults and children globally. While my research interests have predominantly focused on adolescent survivors of commercial sexual exploitation in the United States, I am working to build a global perspective of sex trafficking, beginning in India. Currently, my research seeks to identify the ways in which culture and context frame women and adolescent girl's involvement and exit from sex trafficking, the ways in which gender, race and cultural perceptions inform perceptions of women who have experienced sex trafficking, and the identification familial and social network processes that shape the experiences and decision making processes of sex trafficking survivors.
Adolescent girls with a history of Commercial Sexual Exploitation (CSE): Perceptions and characteristics of social networks
The current study points to key social networks for racial/ethnic minority adolescent girls and the potential role of these networks regarding girls' CSE vulnerability. The duality of some network members illustrates the importance of viewing the role of social networks as both complex and dynamic for girls who have experienced CSE. Clinicians should take care to consider the role of intersectional factors when treating members of this community.
Helpingstine, Stephens, Kenny, Eaton, 2021