Sex Trafficking as Structural Gender-Based Violence: Overview and Trauma Implications

Reference work entry


Human trafficking is known to be one of the most rapidly growing criminal industries globally, and a significant portion of this criminal industry is the trafficking of girls and women for commercial sexual exploitation and for labor (Polaris Project 2015). Trafficking, as it affects women and girls, in particular sex trafficking, is a form of gender-based violence. The lesser-valued status of women and girls worldwide places them at increased risk for abuses and exploitation. This chapter will focus on sex trafficking, as well as the sociocultural and institutionalized reasons that women and girls are vulnerable to this form of exploitation. This chapter will also address trauma related to sex trafficking and implications for psychological treatment of sex trafficking survivors.


Sex trafficking Prostitution Commercial sexual exploitation Gender-based violence Sexism 


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© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer International Publishing AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Carlow UniversityPittsburghUSA

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