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Research Methods

Child sex trafficking in the United States represents a national moral, health and human rights crisis.

Methods

Through a multi-sited, 3 year study (Institutional Review Board Approved), this project aims to understand domestic minor sex trafficking & commercial sexual exploitation of children through a mixed methods approach, combining:

  1. In-depth interviews with stakeholders and young adults
  2. State-level data on domestic minor sex trafficking/commercial sexual exploitation of children and
  3. A law enforcement survey.

By interviewing two different populations, this project aims to provide a better understanding of domestic minor sex trafficking/commercial sexual exploitation of children from all perspectives. Our two populations are stakeholders (such as service providers, advocates, policy and lawmakers, researchers, law enforcement, educators) and most importantly, young adults who have experienced domestic minor sex trafficking/commercial sexual exploitation of children themselves.

  • Interviews with stakeholders will focus on their work, their understanding of drivers and responses to domestic minor sex trafficking/commercial sexual exploitation of children, and how they perceive the problem.
  • Interviews with young adults will be focused on understanding their life, as they wish to tell it through the Life Story Method.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been focusing our virtual data collection sites in 3 main places, Philadelphia, Charlotte, and Atlanta. However, given the flexibility of virtual interviewing, we have been able to expand data collection to the entire country. If you would like to be interviewed, we’re happy to schedule an interview.