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Trauma-Informed Care for Survivors of Human Trafficking: A State of the Field in 2019

NCJ Number
Date Published
19 pages

This report recognizes and highlights trauma-informed practices from 157 service providers who interact with survivors of human trafficking, puts the practices in the context of relevant literature in the field, and identifies areas in which organizations and the field as a whole can improve.


From September to December of 2019, the Institute on Assets and Social Policy at Brandeis University conducted a baseline survey to assess the current state of the field of U.S. providers who support survivors of human trafficking. The survey was completed by 157 respondents. In addition, this report contains findings from a review of current literature in the field, which sets the survey results within a broader conceptualization of trauma-informed practice that addresses human trafficking in the United States. The survey found that most respondents believe they are well-informed about trauma-informed care in general, but when asked about specific topics of trauma-informed care for human trafficking survivors, consistently one-third of respondents indicated they have little knowledge about the specifics of trauma-informed care. Webinars are the most common resource for respondents as a medium for learning more about trauma-informed care for trafficking survivors, followed by local in-person training and national conferences and networks. Approximately one-third of respondents indicated they are using the skills they have learned in training in their work with survivors. Respondents are looking for training and resources on trauma-informed care for trafficking survivors that provide opportunities for the practical application and use of trauma-informed interactions. Overall, survey findings indicate that although there is a baseline understanding of the need for trauma-informed practice in work with human trafficking survivors, there is a need for new types and formats of training and technical assistance that apply knowledge and theory in practice.

Date Published: January 1, 2020