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Understanding the Impact of CSEC Module 3: “It’s an emotional thing when you’re in the life, it’s an emotional thing when you get out. I’m struggling with.

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Presentation on theme: "Understanding the Impact of CSEC Module 3: “It’s an emotional thing when you’re in the life, it’s an emotional thing when you get out. I’m struggling with."— Presentation transcript:

1 Understanding the Impact of CSEC Module 3: “It’s an emotional thing when you’re in the life, it’s an emotional thing when you get out. I’m struggling with PTSD, every night I have flashbacks, it’s hard to sleep” - CSEC Survivor

2 Understanding the Impact of CSEC Objectives… To understand the psychological and physical impact of trauma and exploitation on CSEC victims and therefore, the challenges in exiting. To become aware of the specific subcultures of commercial sexual exploitation including rules, norms, and street terminology. Develop knowledge of the trauma bonds between victims and perpetrators. Apply an understanding of Stockholm Syndrome to behaviors common to CSEC victims.

3 Impact of CSEC on Society

4 Brainstorming Questions: Who is effected by CSEC? What are some of the ways that CSEC impacts our society?

5 CSEC… Impacts the local economy Decreases safety in neighborhoods Links to other types of crime: guns, drugs, organized crime Glorifies the commercial sex industry and promotes negative images for children Creates demand, a need for supply, and increased recruitment of children Directly exposes children to CSEC locations Creates danger for children Costs resources of social service and healthcare systems Costs resources of law enforcement and court systems Contributes to long-term impacts of prostituted adults and costs to systems

6 Studies of adult women in the sex industry report that… 62% of respondents had been raped in prostitution 73% had experienced physical assault in prostitution 72% were currently or formerly homeless 92% stated that they wanted to escape prostitution immediately 78% of 55 women who sought help from the Council for Prostitution Alternatives in 1991 reported being raped an average of 16 times a year by pimps, and were raped 33 times a year by johns. – Melissa Farley, Isin Baral, Merab Kiremire, Ufuk Sezgin, "Prostitution in Five Countries: Violence and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder" (1998) Feminism & Psychology 8 (4): – Susan Kay Hunter, Council for Prostitution Alternatives Annual Report, 1991, Portland, Oregon

7 Activity: The Violence of CSEC

8 Debriefing Question: What impact does this level of violence and abuse have on children?

9 Psychological/Emotional Impact of CSEC Disruption of healthy psychological development  Self-concept, intimacy, beliefs and goals Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)  Impulse to revisit traumatic events, intrusive emotions & memories, flashbacks, hyper arousal, exaggerated startle reaction, panic symptoms Self-injurious and suicidal behavior Dissociative disorders Anxiety Paranoia Clinical depression Explosive outbursts Sleep disturbance & nightmares Bond with perpetrators Hyper-sexualization Physical Impact of CSEC Continuous physical abuse Rape & gang rape STDs & STIs HIV & AIDS Loss of bowel control Pregnancy (wanted and unwanted) Sterility Facial/dental reconstruction Tattoos & branding Brain damage Substance abuse/addiction Self-cutting Suicide/Death Spiritual Impact of CSEC Despair Hopelessness Lack of belief in humanity Lack of faith in spiritual power Emotional Impact of CSEC Anger and rage Deep emotional pain/grieving Feelings of humiliation/shame Stigma of exploitation Self-blame/Self-loathing Loss of sexual desire, feelings, or response Social Impact of CSEC Isolation from peer group Disconnection from community Isolation from mainstream society Homelessness Incarceration/Criminal record as obstacle Disempowerment Lack of life skills Trust issues/Difficulty maintaining relationships Obstacles to vocation  Lack of access to legal economies, lack of job experience/skills Educational deprivation  Missed school, disconnection with school system

10 Reflection Question: If the violence and abuse are this severe, why don’t children just leave or call out for help?

11 Working Group Question: If you were going to brainwash someone, make a person compliant, loyal, and too afraid to run away, what would you do? Coercion and Control

12 Film: No Bigger Lie Out There Produced by Adults Saving Kids

13 Debriefing Question: What are your reactions to the practices of the exploiters you hear described in the film? Film: No Bigger Lie Out There

14 Isolation Pimp Tactics Of Coercion and Control Threats Demonstrating “omnipotence” Induced debility & exhaustion Monopolization of perception Enforcing trivial demands Occasional indulgences Degradation

15 Activity: Rules of the Game

16 Imagine the situation printed on your paper interrupting your life as you know it: How would you feel? What impact would this have on your life? How would you react or cope? Can you relate?

17 Activity: Rules of the Game Constantly having to lie about your age All of your identification is taken away Having to change your name Constantly moving wherever someone else wants to Being kidnapped Being raped, repeatedly Being beaten for not making enough money Having to give all the money you make away Having threats made against your family Having to completely change your appearance Getting a tattoo on your neck of the name of the person who constantly abuses you Being constantly threatened with violence Living with a group of people you call “family” who you could never depend on for support Feeling trapped in an abusive and violent situation Now try to imagine trying to cope with all of this at once…

18 Activity: Rules of the Game (continued) Not being allowed any contact with the world outside of your abusive situation Not being able to make eye contact with men other than the one who abuses you Having to call a man who is not your father, who abuses you, “daddy” Being punished and beaten when someone else breaks an abuser’s “rules” Having to meet a nightly quota based on how much money you make for having sex Having to compete for attention from your from your abuser with five other girls Having sex with strangers every night Getting an STD Getting arrested again and again Having to trade sex with a police officer in exchange for not getting arrested Being beat up by a group of 5 pimps for looking one in the eye …at only 13 years old.

19 Film: Polaris Project Pimp Circle

20 Stockholm Syndrome & Trauma Bonds What is your immediate response to this story?

21 The presence of a perceived threat to one's physical or psychological survival and the belief that the abuser would carry out the threat The presence of a perceived small kindness from the abuser to the victim Isolation from perspectives other than those of the abuser The perceived inability to escape the situation Stockholm Syndrome & Trauma Bonds What needs to be present for Stockholm Syndrome to occur?

22 How is Stockholm Syndrome displayed? Positive feelings by the victim toward the abuser/controller Negative feelings by the victim toward family, friends, or authorities trying to rescue/support them or win their release Support of the abuser's reasons and behaviors Positive feelings by the abuser toward the victim Supportive behaviors by the victim, at times helping the abuser Inability to engage in behaviors that may assist in their release or detachment Stockholm Syndrome & Trauma Bonds

23 Who can suffer from Stockholm Syndrome? Abused Children Battered/Abused Women Prisoners of War Cult Members Incest Victims Criminal Hostage Situations Concentration Camp Prisoners Controlling/Intimidating Relationships CSEC/Trafficking Victims Stockholm Syndrome & Trauma Bonds

24 What does Stockholm Syndrome look like with CSEC victims?

25 CSEC victims often form “trauma bonds” with perpetrators. This can be the biggest obstacle in their recovery. How are trauma bonds formed? –Violence and threats of violence. –Alternating violence and kindness increases bonding. –Believe if they even think a disloyal thought, exploiter will know and retaliate. –Isolation increases bonding. –Shame and stigma associated with prostitution, rape, losing virginity increases bonding. Stockholm Syndrome & Trauma Bonds

26 What are the major indicators of trauma bonding? Shows ongoing symptoms of trauma or PTSD Intensely grateful for small kindness Denies violence when violence and threats of violence are actually occurring Rationalizes violence Denies anger at exploiter to others and to self Believe they have some control over abuse Believe if they control situation it lessens pimps/customers/traffickers control and abuse Self-blame for situation and abuse Stockholm Syndrome & Trauma Bonds

27 Major indicators of trauma bonding (continued) Hyper vigilant to exploiter’s needs Seeks to keep exploiter happy to decrease violence Tries to get inside pimps/traffickers/ customers heads Sees world from exploiter’s perspective May or may not have own perspective Experiences sense of self through pimps/traffickers/customers eyes Sees outside authorities/people trying to win release (escape) as bad guys Sees pimp as good guy, protector Sees exploiter as victim Is thankful and grateful pimp/trafficker/customer have not killed them

28 Reflection Questions: Why don’t we normally recognize Stockholm Syndrome in CSEC victims? Have you heard of any other cases of Stockholm Syndrome?

29 Victims were kidnapped and abused Victims had an opportunity to escape but didn’t Victims developed strong bond with their abuser Experts agreed they suffered from Stockholm Syndrome Media and public were sympathetic Elizabeth Smart & Shawn Hornbeck

30 Discussion Question: Why do you think the media and public were sympathetic to Elizabeth Smart and Shawn Hornbeck, but are often not sympathetic to CSEC victims?

31 Debriefing Questions: Before entering this training, what was your understanding of why children stay in the sex industry? Has your understanding changed? If so, how?


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