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Prostitution, Trafficking, and Traumatic Stress [Kindle Edition]

Melissa Farley PhD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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  • Print ISBN-10: 0789023784
  • Print ISBN-13: 978-0789023780
  • Edition: 1
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Book Description

Prostitution, Trafficking, and Traumatic Stress offers the reader an analysis of prostitution and trafficking as organized interpersonal violence. Even in academia, law, and public health, prostitution is often misunderstood as “sex work.” The book’s 32 contributors offer clinical examples, analysis, and original research that counteract common myths about the harmlessness of prostitution.

Prostitution, Trafficking, and Traumatic Stress extensively documents the violence that runs like a constant thread throughout all types of prostitution, including escort, brothel, trafficking, strip club, pornography, and street prostitution. Prostitutes are always subjected to verbal sexual harassment and often have a lengthy history of trauma, including childhood sexual abuse and emotional neglect, racism, economic discrimination, rape, and other physical and sexual violence.

International in scope, the book contains cutting-edge contributions from clinical experts in traumatic stress, from attorneys and advocates who work with trafficked women, adolescents, and children and also prostituted women and men. A number of chapters address the complexity of treating the psychological symptoms resulting from prostitution and trafficking. Others address the survivor’s need for social supports, substance abuse treatment, peer support, and culturally relevant services. To stay up-to-date on this powerful subject, visit the “Traffick Jamming” blog at

Prostitution, Trafficking, and Traumatic Stress examines:
  • The connections between prostitution, incest, sexual harassment, rape, and domestic violence

  • Clinical symptoms common among those in prostitution, including dissociation, posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, and substance abuse

  • Peer support programs for women escaping prostitution

  • Culturally relevant services for women escaping prostitution

  • The connection between prostitution and trafficking, including trafficking from Mexico to the United States, and prostitution of adolescents in Cambodian brothels

  • Online prostitution

  • How gay male pornography harms gay men

  • Accessing public assistance funds for survivors of prostitution

  • Arguments against legalizing or decriminalizing prostitution
From the editor's Preface:
Prostitution is to the community what incest is to the family.

Slavery, at its height, was normalized in the United States as unpleasant but inevitable, yet it is now considered to be an institution that violated human rights. Perhaps we will at some point in the future look back on prostitution/trafficking with a similar historical perspective. It is my hope that this book will assist the reader in understanding prostitution and trafficking and in how to help women and children escape it.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1042 KB
  • Print Length: 386 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0789023792
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 4 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (September 10, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009E31GXO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #574,886 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for social services professionals September 29, 2005
An absolutely riveting and enlightening work. Once I started reading it I couldn't put it down, and I have already recommended it to several colleagues, who are similarly engrossed. I have worked in the field of substance abuse treatment for almost 18 years, and I am ashamed to admit I waited this long to educate myself on prostitution issues. The statistic that at least half of battered women have also been prostituted in some form is eye opening, but makes complete sense as I look back on my work with many severely distressed clients who were hiding in shame what I failed to see and help them with. This book accurately documents and describes the worldwide condemnation and abandonment of (primarily women) prostitutes to abusive pimps, johns, and the profit motive of the sex industry that promotes the blame-the victim social attitudes that prostitution is legitimate and voluntarily chosen "work". It also give useful direction and resources for working clinically with victims of prostitution. The chapter on the legal nuances and intricacies of obtaining public benefits for prostitution survivors was one of the best analyses I have ever read of how trauma issues hinder access to public benefits (SSI, TANF, etc.)
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's about people. November 15, 2004
In an insighful anlysis of sexual exploitation, Farley never lets us forget the central issue that it is a human person being acted upon in systems of prostituion and trafficking and sexual exploitation. This issue is sadly often shrouded by divergent political, acedemic, or social beliefs. As Farley explicates the trauma suffered by women, the degredation of the human person in sexual violence becomes all too real.

It forces each one to consider how each of us and our very culture tolerates an acceptance of such violence. One must think about the sytems driving such inhumanity toward women.

A must read for all who want to challenge and expand their own critical thinking about human rights and human dignity.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As the Founder and Director of Transitions Cambodia, Inc. (TCI), I would highly recommend this book to organizations working with victims of sex trafficking or those who are interested in this field. The book is well written and the material is relevant. I found the information to be valid and useful. I work with Cambodian and Vietnamese victims ranging in age from 14-19 years old and have found this material extremely helpful. The chapters on Cambodia and SE Asia were significant, as well as, the chapters on dissociation and PTSD. The final chapter about non-legalization of prostitution, though I agree with the premise, was not convincing. I think there are much better arguments for not legalizing prostitution with much more subtantial data. It was the least compelling part of the book, but it does not detract from an incredible resource.
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HIGHLY RECOMMENDED November 17, 2004
"Prostitution, Trafficking and Traumatic Stress" is a must read! I am a law student and Melissa Farley's book came to me highly recommended by many academics and legal scholars as an important and in-depth look at the sex trade. It represents much of the best research about violence being done in the sex industry worldwide. The book's 32 contributors offer analysis, clinical samples, and research that comprehensively address the harms of prostitution and trafficking. It is grounded in broad and persuasive evidence, and features riveting accounts by advocates and attorneys who work with trafficked and prostituted persons. The book provides up to date analysis of many of the issues that form the basis of the current debates on human rights and the legal status of prostitution. This is an excellent work for anyone who would like to learn more about the economic and sexual exploitation of individuals, who are violated, dehumanized, and traumatized in the commercial sex industry.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Scholarly Masterpiece - Neda Najmi MFT November 16, 2004
Melissa Farley's editorial masterpiece is truly ground breaking work. The book is ideal for mental health professionals, social workers, law enforcement and government officials, and anyone who is genuinely interested in human rights and protection thereof. The exhaustive research studies presented in the text are extensive, and at times overwhelming, especially the graphic nature of the sex industry, prostitution and the long term implications of this heinous social ill. The book also captures multicultural and global perspectives, laws, effective mental and other health related care giving, and ultimately recovery and integration for victims. This book is one of a kind in the area of trafficking, prostitution and trauma, unique in creating awareness, and a source of unparalled information from which generations will benefit.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A GROUNDBREAKING, EYE-OPENING, LANDMARK BOOK! April 14, 2004
By A Customer
Ronald F. Levant, EdD, ABPP, President-Elect, American Psychological Association; Co-Editor, A New Psychology of Men
A must-read for anyone interested in human rights, women's issues, and the psychology of exploitation. . . . A groundbreaking, eye-opening, landmark book that will forever change the way we view prostitution. Farley has assembled a dream team of contributors, including psychologists, psychiatrists, lawyers, and advocates. Shattering the myth that prostitution is harmless, this book not only addresses the physical violence and verbal abuse that prostitutes suffer, but even more importantly exposes the overwhelming psychological violence that occurs when a prostitute becomes, in seriatim, her john's masturbatory fantasies and the dehumanization that accompanies the preparation for a life of prostitution by the pimp or trafficker.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Very scholastic look at PTSD and Domestic trafficking.
If you have spent any length of time reading up on trafficking in the US, chances are you have stumbled upon Melissa Farley's name or at least a statistic she has published. Read more
Published 14 months ago by nbl
4.0 out of 5 stars important work
this is an excellent compilation of various articles/essays on various forms of human trafficking across the world. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Bradley
5.0 out of 5 stars Important
If you are involved in the rescue and rehabilitation of women trapped in sexual exploitation you NEED this book. amazing and informative. Read more
Published on December 19, 2012 by julia
1.0 out of 5 stars A Misandric Sexist Tries to Comprehend Sex and Fails
Melissa Farley, in her book, declares that sex between a male and a female is effectively rape, domestic violence, and sexual harassment of the female even if the female is the... Read more
Published on December 12, 2007 by Steven Jones
1.0 out of 5 stars I would like to give this book zero stars
I am a public policy scholar, not a psychologist, so I cannot address the merits of this book from a clinical psychology perspective. Read more
Published on June 26, 2004
The book provides a genuinely multicultural and international perspective on the extreme and pervasive forms of trauma experienced by women and men who are sexually... Read more
Published on April 14, 2004 by eResources Coordinator
5.0 out of 5 stars INDISPENSABLE READING! human consequences of the sex trade
Ted Schrecker, Research Associate, Saskatchewan Population Health and Evaluation Research Unit; Co-author of Fatal Indifference: The G8 and Global Health
Indispensable reading... Read more
Published on April 14, 2004
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