How Survivors of Sexual Trafficking Revive

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Illustration by Feri Fenoria

UNAIR NEWS – The experience of sexual trafficking causes a serious and extraordinary impact on its victims. Generally, they experience various problems, including trauma, physical injury, psychological disorders, sexual problems caused by sexual exploitation and negative stigma received from the community.

“This condition makes them mentally depressed, especially if access to assistance is difficult for them to get in the community,” said Ike Herdiana, a lecturer in Faculty of Psychology (Fpsi) Universitas Airlangga.

Interestingly, said the lecturer known well as Ike, not all survivors of sexual trafficking fall under unfavorable psychological conditions. Some research stated that from insistent and significant stressors, even traumatic events, it turns out there are certain people who can immediately rise from the problem, then turn into resilient individuals.

“Individuals can get out of their problems and become resilient individuals due to supporting factors,” said the lecturer born in Bandung.

A journal paper titled ” Survivor of Sex Trafficking: How Could They Revive ?” by Ike Herdiana, Suryanto, Musta’in Mashud, and Wiwin Hendriani, reviewed on how victims of Sexual Trafficking can rise.

According to Ike, the potential for victims of sexual trafficking to rise will determine them to become resilient individuals. Not just knowing the potential, but how the potential are actualized to make them resilient to the challenges faced.

“Resilience in general is the ability to recover from crises and overcome life’s challenges,” Ike said.

Resilience for Survivor Sexual Trafficking

According to Ike, the risk of being a victim of sexual trafficking can be identified through the theme of several risk factors, vulnerable personal conditions, family poverty, family disintegration, family dysfunction, juvenile delinquency, unsupporting society and stigma in the community.

“The risk factors are mostly attached to individuals long before they become victims,” she explained.

There are several factors that encourage mental recovery and the ability to rise up in survivors of sexual trafficking, first, Personal Protective Support which means the growth of the belief that individuals are able to rise, feel they have values ​​that support themselves to recover and not sink into bad mental condition, effective problem solving skills and internal motivation that help to recover.

Second, she said, with Social Protective Support, which is the support received from family, peers and support from safe houses / shelters which ensure they can continue all their life activities and become mentally recovered.

“By knowing the characteristics of these factors, by working with survivors, it will be easier for therapists to create psychological intervention programs for survivors,” she stated.

Author: Fariz Ilham Rosyidi

Editor: Nuri Hermawan

Link        :

Ike Herdiana, Suryanto, Mustain Mashud, Wiwin Hendriani. 2019. “Survivor of Sex Trafficking: How Could They Revive?”, Journal of Educational Health and Community Psycology, Vol.8, No.3, 2019.

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