120: The Evil Web of Human Trafficking: Breaking the Grip of Control, Manipulation, and Abuse
Shannon Wolf, Ph.D.
B.H. Carroll Theological Institute
6500 N. Belt Line Rd.
Irving, TX 75063
Trafficking of people, or human trafficking, is an illegal activity that touches all nations and has long-lasting physical, social, and psychological consequences for survivors, as well as all those involved. Traffickers exploit both genders, all ethnicities, the aged and young, and the educated and unschooled. No people group is left untouched by this crime. Currently, the trafficking of people is at epidemic proportions. While it is difficult to know precisely how many people are presently being trafficked, it is estimated that approximately 27 million individuals worldwide are enslaved. In fact, trafficking is one of the chief global crimes, producing billions of dollars annually. It is expected to surpass, if it has not already done so, both drug and weapons trafficking in revenue within the next few years. After all, a trafficker can sell an individual multiple times but can only sell a drug or weapon once. This very fact makes trafficking people attractive to organized crime rings. Beginning in the 1990s, the mental health community slowly began to recognize the need for information on trafficking, specifically treatment interventions. Therapists adapted sexual assault treatment plans to use with survivors of trafficking. They quickly realized that the problem was much more complex and are only recently beginning to understand the profound impact trafficking has on its victims. The effects of trafficking on victims are numerous and profound. Exposure to chronic victimization increases the risk of physical and psychological difficulties. In fact, routine abuse results in a wide range of expected symptoms, from impaired cognitive functioning to attachment disorders. The Christian community is leading the way to create awareness of the problem, advocate for victims and their families, and provide a distinctly Christian approach for mental health needs. However, more advanced training and resources are needed to assist in these efforts. This workshop is designed to help equip people Christ has called to care for those victimized by trafficking.
• Describe multiple factors that place individuals at risk for trafficking victimization
• Analyze various techniques traffickers use and how those techniques allow traffickers to control their victims
• Evaluate specific Christian counseling techniques that licensed professional counselors and psychologists can use to assist in healing from the effects of trafficking