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In Their Own Words: The Impact of Indirect Trauma Exposure on Judges Presiding Over Cases Involving Minors Involved in Sex Trafficking

NCJ Number
Juvenile and Family Court Journal Volume: 72 Issue: 3 Dated: August 2021 Pages: 5-20
Date Published
16 pages

This qualitative study involves 82 interviews with juvenile and family court judges to understand the impact of indirect trauma exposure stemming from presiding over cases involving minors involved in sex trafficking.



Although secondary traumatic stress has been researched extensively among professionals working with youth in diverse professions, there is limited information about judicial experiences working with trafficked youth. Over 80% of respondents describe symptoms of secondary traumatic stress and countertransference responses. Notably, 20% with these symptoms also reported increased professional pride in their role performance with these cases. Implications for how judges can address the effects of indirect exposure are offered based on the literature and the recommendations of the respondents. (Publisher Abstract Provided)

Date Published: January 1, 2021