Treating the Hidden Wounds: Trauma Treatment and Mental Health Recovery for Victims of Human Trafficking. Study Overview


This is the third in a series of Issue Briefs produced under a contract with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) to conduct a study of HHS programs serving human trafficking victims. Funded in the fall of 2006, the purpose of this exploratory project is to develop information on how HHS programs are currently addressing the needs of victims of human trafficking, including domestic victims, with a priority focus on domestic youth.  This project also consists of reviewing relevant literature, and identifying barriers and promising practices for addressing the needs of victims of human trafficking, with a goal of informing current and future program design and improving services to this extremely vulnerable population.

This issue brief addresses the trauma experienced by most trafficking victims, its impact on health and well-being, some of the challenges to meeting trauma-related needs of trafficking victims, and promising approaches to treatment and recovery.  While this issue brief touches on trauma across human trafficking populations, it has a special emphasis on trauma resulting from sex trafficking of women and girls.

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