Mental Health Service Needs of Commercially Sexually Exploited Youth: Voices of Survivors and Stakeholders

Rachel Robitz, Emilio C. Ulloa, Marissa Salazar, Monica D. Ulibarri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Youth who experience commercial sexual exploitation (CSE) have complex mental health needs. This study describes what CSE survivors and stakeholders who work with them desire in mental health services. We conducted semi-structured interviews with 10 CSE survivors 16–20 years old, and 15 community experts on CSE (n = 25). Thematic analyses indicated CSE survivors value mental health services including individual therapy and coping skills, and they wanted providers who are nonjudgmental, and exhibit some level of understanding of CSE. Community stakeholders described skills important for CSE survivors to gain from mental health services including recognition of patterns of victimization, self-worth, and emotion regulation. Both stakeholders and CSE youth desired services that give survivors some control over their treatment and recovery utilizing a trauma-informed approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)354-362
Number of pages9
JournalViolence and Victims
Volume35
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • commercial sexual exploitation
  • mental health services
  • survivors of sexual exploitation
  • trauma-informed services for sexual exploitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Health(social science)
  • Law

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