ORCID Identifier(s)


Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Social Work


Social Work

First Advisor

M Beverly Black


Women who are sex trafficked usually develop complex trauma and experience an array of trauma symptoms. The purpose of this scoping review is to examine the therapies or treatments that reduce trauma symptoms for sex trafficked adult women survivors from the survivors' and therapists' perspectives on the survivors' trauma symptoms. This scoping review aims to add to the literature by encapsulating the therapies and treatment methods that reduce trauma symptoms for sex trafficked women. A systematic search was conducted of 12 databases and Google Scholar for books, journal articles, and grey literature published between January 2000 to December 2020 on empirical studies evaluating therapies or treatments used for sex trafficking survivors to reduce trauma symptoms. The search yielded three documents for inclusion in the scoping review. First, the review demonstrated that few studies had been conducted on the effectiveness of therapies or treatments in reducing trauma symptoms for sex trafficking survivors. Second, findings from the review showed group therapy and art therapy might be effective for sex trafficked women survivors. Finally, the results suggest that treatments or therapies using trauma-informed care, creating a sense of safety, and emphasizing universality may increase the effectiveness of the therapy or treatment method for survivors. Practice implications include therapists and treatment methods incorporating trauma-informed care and considering using group and art therapy to reduce trauma symptoms. Future research should be conducted on all evidence-based therapies and treatment methods used for complex trauma and sexual abuse trauma and collect data from sex trafficking survivors directly using a validated measure. Additionally, research should include the age and amount of time participants were trafficked, the race and age of the participants, and a list of trauma symptoms the participants experienced before treatment and after treatment.


Sex trafficking, Therapy, Treatment, Intervention, Human trafficking, Commercial sexual exploitation


Social and Behavioral Sciences | Social Work


Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington

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Social Work Commons