Midwest Social Sciences Journal


With increased recognition of sex trafficking, calls have been made for greater identification and screening. Lack of awareness and assessment likely contribute to low identification of sex trafficking victims. The present study examined assessment practices, confidence in detecting trafficking, and experiences with DMST survivors in the caseloads of service providers in the past year. Employees at high-risk settings were recruited, resulting in a sample of 76 providers representing 21 agencies. Data revealed that while general risk factors were typically assessed, sex trafficking-specific risk factors and experiences were assessed less often. Approximately 30% of participants indicated they worked with at least one sex trafficking victim in the past year. However, 44% of participants indicated low confidence in detection. Approximately 23% of participants had completed sex trafficking training, but few differences emerged between those with and without prior training. Increased training, assessment, and evaluations of the effectiveness of training programs are recommended.