Healing Sex-Trafficked Children: A Domestic Family Law Approach to an International Epidemic
50 Pages Posted: 25 Apr 2016 Last revised: 23 Apr 2020
Date Written: April 22, 2016
Children who have been trafficked into and within the United States for commercial sexual exploitation endure significant psychological and physical trauma. Because there is a salient nexus between the inherent violence of trafficking and that of family violence and childhood sexual abuse, this Article explores how the United States might assist victimized children by utilizing governmental systems that are already in existence. Specifically, the therapeutic foster care (“TFC”) model is an established model of care that is flexible enough to meet the numerous and complicated issues associated with the reintegration and treatment needs of child sex-trafficking survivors. This Article recommends that TFC be adapted and expanded to heal sex-trafficked children in a safe, nurturing, and culturally competent manner. Particularly in tandem with specialized programs or non-governmental organizations (“NGOs”), the TFC model may be another avenue in healing the sex-trafficked children within our borders.
Keywords: human trafficking, sex trafficking, children, child abuse, therapeutic foster care, family violence, sexual abuse, trauma
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