Still We Rise: Psychotherapy for African American Girls and Women Exiting Sex Trafficking

Thema Bryant-Davis, Robyn L. Gobin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Sex trafficking is the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purposes of sexual exploitation. Among those who are at greater risk for sex trafficking are women, girls, impoverished persons, runaways, homeless persons, persons who have prior trauma histories, and ethnically marginalized persons, including African Americans. The short- and long-term consequences of sex trafficking are physical, sexual, psychological, social, economic, and spiritual. There are a growing number of programs that have been created to facilitate the recovery process of sex trafficking survivors; however, limited scholarship has focused on the cultural context of recovery for U.S.-based survivors. Based on both a critical review of the literature and clinical intervention experience, the author will provide treatment recommendations for working with African American girls and women who are exiting sex trafficking. These treatment recommendations can be integrated into a range of treatment orientations and approaches. Overall, an integrative strengths-based, culturally congruent model is recommended, which integrates constructs from womanist (Black feminist) psychology. Limitations and policy recommendations are provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)385-405
Number of pages21
JournalWomen and Therapy
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Oct 2 2019


  • African American
  • girls
  • therapy
  • trafficking
  • treatment
  • women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • General Psychology


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