Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)


Criminal Justice and Criminology

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Chris Rush

Committee Members

Larry Miller, Dustin Osborne


Sex trafficking is a grossly misconstrued and increasing issue within the United States. The purpose of this study was to extend current knowledge regarding the public’s education on domestic sex trafficking and perceptions of domestic sex trafficking victims. The public’s awareness of domestic sex trafficking and perceptions of domestic sex trafficking victims were examined through the utilization of a 31 closed-ended question survey. The survey included questions about domestic sex trafficking and prostitution myths, domestic sex trafficking victim characteristics, domestic sex trafficking legislation, law enforcement’s involvement in domestic sex trafficking cases, and demographics. The sample consisted of 195 Criminal Justice and Criminology students at East Tennessee State University, located in Northeast Tennessee. The results showed that, despite having a mostly empirical based view on domestic sex trafficking, students misconceived domestic sex trafficking victims when comparing the age of victims, such as child victims versus adult victims.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.