Trauma bonding is a counter-intuitive phenomenon in which a victim bonds and develops strong positive feelings toward their abuser. These bonds are common among sex trafficking victims and affect their ability to identify their own victimization, cooperate with law enforcement investigations, and refrain from going back into the life once they have left.
Trauma bonds can be very difficult for CASA volunteers who are working with children and youth who’ve been victimized to understand. Questions often come up, such as, Why don’t they leave? and Did they choose to do this? Understanding trauma bonds will help CASA volunteers better understand and advocate for commercially sexually exploited children and youth.
This webinar from the U.S. Department of Justice examines the formation of these bonds between traffickers and their victims through case examples, videos and discussion. Strategies for breaking these bonds and helping victims psychologically separate from their abusers are also discussed.
Upon completion of this webinar, you will be able to:
- Review conditions necessary for formation of trauma bonds
- Identify the effects of trauma bonds on the survivor of sex trafficking
- Review strategies for psychological separation and breaking of trauma bonds