Project Title

A pilot study on the knowledge of sex- trafficking in the United States among a sample of college students at a university in North- East Tennessee.

Authors' Affiliations

Hima Bindu Dubasi1, Oluyemi Rotimi1, Ruby Yadav1, Maisonet Mildred1* 1Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, College of Public Health, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN 37614 *Sponsoring faculty

Location

Ballroom

Start Date

4-5-2018 8:00 AM

End Date

4-5-2018 12:00 PM

Poster Number

62

Name of Project's Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Mildred Maisonet

Faculty Sponsor's Department

Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, College of Public Health, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN 37614

Type

Poster: Competitive

Classification of First Author

Graduate Student-Master’s

Project's Category

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Abstract Text

Introduction

Sex- trafficking is a disturbing reality occurring in the United States, which calls for immediate action, before it becomes an epidemic, difficult to contain. Major constraints like, misidentification of the victims, lack of awareness, measures of estimate which do not include adult trafficking and improper tracking protocols, make actual prevalence rates difficult to estimate, however, the closest estimate provided by Esteis and Weiner, is that between 244,000 and 325,000 youth in America are at risk of sexual exploitation. According to the National Juvenile Arrest Data (2003), 1400 youth were arrested nationwide, for prostitution and commercial sex crimes, and these numbers increased 31% between 1994 and 2003. According to the 2015 annual report of National Human Trafficking Resource center, it received 24,757 signals nationwide, of which 555 (2.5%) were from students. 74.6% of the cases reported were of sex trafficking. Studies by Reid (2010) and later Farrel et al (2012), have revealed that most often, internet has been used as a victim solicitation tool. The aim of this study is to explore the college students’ perception of the prevalence of sex trafficking in the United States and understanding of the training, if any, received by them, including the cautious use of the internet.

Method

A convenience sample of college students (N=353), completed self-reported questionnaires via the REDCAP survey platform, using the ETSU SONA system. Questions were asked to assess their awareness about sex trafficking in the United States, any training received to protect themselves, from being ensnared by the traffickers. A descriptive analysis of the survey results was employed to further explore college students’ understanding of sex trafficking.

Results

76% (N=268) of the respondents said that sex trafficking is a problem in the United States, 24% (N=85), view it is as not being a problem in the United States. 95% (N=334) had not received any training to protect themselves from being trafficked, of which only 5.26% (N=1), had been told about the safe use of internet. 3.6%(N=13), respondents have reported, that they know someone who has been approached for sex trafficking.

Conclusion

The findings of this study suggest that, students are aware that sex trafficking might be a problem in the United States, and some participants indicated that they know someone who has been approached. Preliminary analysis shows that a greater awareness, and knowledge about sex trafficking is needed, and future research may be indicated with the focus on individuals, who are at risk of being trafficked, with the goal of identifying interventions for, at-risk populations.

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Apr 5th, 8:00 AM Apr 5th, 12:00 PM

A pilot study on the knowledge of sex- trafficking in the United States among a sample of college students at a university in North- East Tennessee.

Ballroom

Introduction

Sex- trafficking is a disturbing reality occurring in the United States, which calls for immediate action, before it becomes an epidemic, difficult to contain. Major constraints like, misidentification of the victims, lack of awareness, measures of estimate which do not include adult trafficking and improper tracking protocols, make actual prevalence rates difficult to estimate, however, the closest estimate provided by Esteis and Weiner, is that between 244,000 and 325,000 youth in America are at risk of sexual exploitation. According to the National Juvenile Arrest Data (2003), 1400 youth were arrested nationwide, for prostitution and commercial sex crimes, and these numbers increased 31% between 1994 and 2003. According to the 2015 annual report of National Human Trafficking Resource center, it received 24,757 signals nationwide, of which 555 (2.5%) were from students. 74.6% of the cases reported were of sex trafficking. Studies by Reid (2010) and later Farrel et al (2012), have revealed that most often, internet has been used as a victim solicitation tool. The aim of this study is to explore the college students’ perception of the prevalence of sex trafficking in the United States and understanding of the training, if any, received by them, including the cautious use of the internet.

Method

A convenience sample of college students (N=353), completed self-reported questionnaires via the REDCAP survey platform, using the ETSU SONA system. Questions were asked to assess their awareness about sex trafficking in the United States, any training received to protect themselves, from being ensnared by the traffickers. A descriptive analysis of the survey results was employed to further explore college students’ understanding of sex trafficking.

Results

76% (N=268) of the respondents said that sex trafficking is a problem in the United States, 24% (N=85), view it is as not being a problem in the United States. 95% (N=334) had not received any training to protect themselves from being trafficked, of which only 5.26% (N=1), had been told about the safe use of internet. 3.6%(N=13), respondents have reported, that they know someone who has been approached for sex trafficking.

Conclusion

The findings of this study suggest that, students are aware that sex trafficking might be a problem in the United States, and some participants indicated that they know someone who has been approached. Preliminary analysis shows that a greater awareness, and knowledge about sex trafficking is needed, and future research may be indicated with the focus on individuals, who are at risk of being trafficked, with the goal of identifying interventions for, at-risk populations.