The US state department defines sex trafficking as “the recruitment, transportation, provision, or the obtaining of a person for the commercial sex act.” (Retrieved from UAB Institute of Human Rights Blog). The victims of sex trafficking go through several cases of abuse such as physical, verbal and emotional abuse. And all these abuses have a direct impact on their mental health. They feel helpless, terrorised, lonely, and most of all, they lose control over themselves and their lives.
Medical institutes and officials have conducted several types of research on the victims’ mental state, and the majority of the results indicate that victims do go through mental trauma. The most common mental illnesses are anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, low-self esteem, and depression.
Furthermore, the victims are often diagnosed with substance abuse disorder; several victims get addicted to drugs through force or by choice. Apart from the victims, their family members, especially children, often get addicted to smoking. This is obvious, i.e., them being exposed to harsh scenarios at such an early age.
The victims face many problems that affect their mental state in different ways. Sometimes they can identify their mental illness, and sometimes their illnesses go unidentified. Mental traumas that show no symptoms are extremely challenging for the victims. There are various ways in which we can help the victims of sex trafficking get through their mental trauma. Generally, therapies are conducted to help them improve their mental being. However, certain things hinder the treatment of the victims, such as language gap, lack of awareness and ignorance towards mental health, gender gap, etc. These challenges can be overcome by spreading awareness about mental health, taking the victims to professional help, reducing the communication and accessing gap.
All these challenges require specific solutions and a lot of time and efforts; however, if a certain number of professionals and other individuals work together, the solutions would become easier to apply and become more effective. Moreover, other individuals can help spread awareness about the same; this would help the victims.
Assuring mental well being is a habit that the urban people are inculcating in their lives; however, due to lack of formal education and other facilities, several people are unaware about the same, which is why the mental illnesses of the victims often remain unidentified. And thus, it is high time to spread awareness regarding the same and help the victims to improve their mental state.