Functional Isolation: Understanding Isolation in Trafficking Survivors

Published on 2019-11-29T13:06:58Z (GMT) by
<div><p>The study of sexual exploitation of trafficked victims cannot be done without understanding their enforced isolation. To better understand the dynamics of isolation, this study examined how traffickers used different elements of isolation and how such tactics may have contributed to the traffickers’ success in maintaining control over the victim(s). We examined in-depth narratives from 14 women between the ages of 20 to 53, primarily immigrants, who were recruited from an agency serving victims of sex trafficking in a large metropolitan city. The tactics used by traffickers varied and included not only the commonly defined structural isolation in which victims are restricted physically and socially, but also included a shrinking of safe social space and an elimination of privacy and social support. The latter, which we label as functional isolation, refers to instances when survivors are surrounded by peers who are either unreliable or aligned with the trafficker and thus are unable to give true social support. Survivors reported a combination of isolation tactics (i.e., both structural isolation and functional isolation). The different interwoven types and patterns of isolation reported by former victims of trafficking help address a dearth in the coercive control and abuse literature, providing a richer understanding of isolation in trafficking survivors.</p></div>

Cite this collection

Hagan, Elizabeth; Raghavan, Chitra; Doychak, Kendra (2019): Functional Isolation: Understanding Isolation in Trafficking Survivors. SAGE Journals. Collection.