This journal article describes a study that sought to better understand domestic minor sex trafficking (DMST) among adjudicated juvenile females and to identify factors associated with DMST for this vulnerable population. The authors examined the pathways in and out of DMST from the victims’ perspective (especially rural versus urban). They conducted qualitative interviews with 40 adjudicated juvenile females, ages 14 to 19, in a southern, rural state. The quantitative results indicate 34 percent of the participants engaged in sex trafficking, mostly to obtain drugs, and 31 percent felt forced to perform sex acts in exchange for drugs or for a place to sleep, which was highly correlated with being a victim of sexual abuse. The authors recommend implementing early intervention programs for juvenile females who fit the noted vulnerabilities to prevent this population from being victimized. They suggest learning more about risk factors, especially contentious family dynamics, so that social workers and foster parents can help these young women before they age out of foster care or the juvenile justice system and fall prey to traffickers.
Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal
Available to download online at: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10560-016-0455-3