The Commonalities and Shared Experiences of Female Prostitutes Who Were Sexually Exploited as Children: The Perspectives of Clinical Social Workers


Social Work

Date of Paper/Work


Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)

Type of Paper/Work

Clinical research paper


Rosella Collins-Puoch


Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LICSW) provide services to vulnerable populations. As the number of sexually exploited women in Minnesota and the United States grows, so does the number of women needing services from social workers. It is important that LICSWs understand the population of women who have engaged in prostitution that were victims of sexual exploitation as children. If LICSWs are knowledgeable about the commonalities and shared experiences of the women they serve, they may be able to identify common risk factors and provide appropriate services. This research study sought to identify the commonalities and shared experiences of female prostitutes that were sexually exploited as children. The major themes that emerged from this data were: 1) females who engage in prostitution are often victims of child sexual exploitation; 2) common risk factors exist; 3) family dysfunction leads to survival sex; 4) poor self-esteem; 5) barriers to receiving service exist; 6) technology has increased the invisibility of victims; 7) the definition of sexual exploitation is too broad and hard to understand; 8) mentors are important, and 9) group therapy can be effective in helping victims to heal. Implications for social worker practice and future research are discussed.


social work, sexual exploitation, children, LICSW

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.