Sex trafficking of minors in metropolitan, micropolitan, and rural communities

Cole, J.,
Sprang, G.
Published: February, 2015
Journal Article
Journal Name: 
Child Abuse & Neglect
Volume: 40


These authors examined professionals’ awareness, knowledge, and experiences working with victims of sex trafficking of minors (STM) in metropolitan and non-metropolitan communities. Professionals who worked with at-risk youth and/or crime victims were recruited from a southern, rural state to complete a telephone survey. Participants (n = 289) were classified into one of four categories based on the counties in which they worked: metropolitan, micropolitan, rural, or all three community types. Although many similarities were found in trafficking situations across the community types, some expected differences were found. More professionals in metropolitan communities perceived CSEC as being a fairly or very serious problem in the state overall, had received training on human trafficking, and were familiar with the state and federal laws on human trafficking. Fewer professionals in micropolitan communities had experience working with victims of STM compared to those working in the other settings. There were few differences in victim characteristics, vulnerability factors, and trafficking situations across the community types. Modified Author Abstract.

Correspondence to: Jennifer Cole, Center on Trauma and Children, University of Kentucky, 3470 Blazer Parkway, Suite 100, Lexington, KY 40509; Website:
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