4 Devastating Impacts of Child Sex Trafficking on Victims' Quality of Life
Sex trafficking is a serious crime that not only strips victims of their freedom and identity but also denies them the prospect of a fulfilling life. What makes it so cruel is that even after victims have been rescued from the hands of traffickers, they still suffer the aftermath of the abuse. It is even more devastating for children, who are just starting out in life, as they will be forced to live with the bitter impacts for a longer period.
Often, victims may have been so brutally scarred physically and mentally that it becomes difficult for them to lead normal lives as functional members of society. Providing help for survivors of trafficking goes beyond empathizing with them. We are better equipped to assist and support them when we understand how their experience affects their lives.
In this post, we highlight 4 devastating impacts of child sex trafficking on victims' quality of life.
1. Physical Trauma
Traffickers employ physical abuse which may include beatings, starvation and other forms of deprivation, gang rape, etc, as a tactic to keep their victims under their control. Victims of human trafficking may sustain serious injuries like burns and concussions. The unsafe sex acts and forced abortions these children are subjected to expose their tender bodies to gynecological health complications and sexually-transmitted diseases.
Children engaged in forced labor may be required to do strenuous work in unhealthy conditions. They could be exposed to harsh chemicals that could damage their organs or adversely affect their general health.
Often, these victims do not receive proper medical care, and the conditions can worsen to chronic levels. Victims are left to bear the pain and cost of managing these illnesses for the rest of their lives.
2. Psychological Trauma
The psychological effects of human trafficking on victims may even be far more devastating than the physical trauma they experience. Survivors of human trafficking are known to struggle with and exhibit signs of post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, suicidal thoughts, anxiety disorders, shame, and guilt.
While physical injuries may eventually heal over time, the emotional and mental damage done will take much longer time - and in many cases, intensive therapy - to heal.
3. Alienation from Society
Some survivors of human trafficking may, due to shame, guilt, or the fear of being judged, choose to isolate themselves from the rest of their community, leading to poor social life. Some, on the other hand, may for some cultural reason be ostracized from social groups because of the stigma associated with the abuse experience.
Either way, isolation (whether intentionally or otherwise) does not help survivors deal with insecurities. Rather than serve as a coping mechanism, isolation makes them even more susceptible to trafficking.
4. Inability to Live Independently
Most survivors of human trafficking may lack the skills required for independent living. Traffickers deny these children the opportunity to acquire basic education and the skills necessary to survive as members of society. Some of them may have been moved to another country and may not understand the language or laws of the foreign country.
Some may have gotten accustomed to being told what to do by their oppressors that leading a life without an oppressive figure becomes difficult. So even after they escape a trafficking situation, it may be a struggle to get and maintain jobs, and generally cater to themselves.
How Mission Haven is Helping
At Mission Haven, we strive to create a bias-free environment for child survivors of human trafficking, includes, sex trafficking and forced labor. We understand the challenges they face trying to fit into their communities.
Our goal is to provide them with all the support they need to start over. With your generous donations and support, we can continue to provide a true safe haven of hope and healing that is equipped with essential resources to lift victims and survivors of domestic minor sex trafficking. To give, volunteer, or become a partner, feel free to contact us today.