By Michelle Contreras
It is a crime that should have ended with the abolition of slavery, but it continues to happen. We imagine that human trafficking is happening in the poor towns of developing countries with limited opportunities. And it is, but it is also happening in the United States of America. Women and young girls are being lured, enticed and kidnapped to be forced into prostitution and labor without pay. As a direct response to join in the fight against trafficking, Div. 35's Task Force on the Feminist Perspectives of the Trafficking of Women has developed, directed and produced a film, "The Psychology of Modern Slavery."
It is the first film produced by the Society for the Psychology of Women and constitutes a powerful review of the crime of trafficking and how it is affecting young women and girls. The division served as executive producer for the film, while psychologists Michelle Contreras and Thema Bryant-Davis served as the producers and feminist filmmaker Frances DeLoach was the director. Through the voices of survivors and psychologists involved in researching and treating survivors of trafficking, viewers learn about the definitions, prevalence, effects, risk factors and issues related to counseling this population.
The film also touches upon domestic and international trends of trafficking and offer ideas on how everyone can help to work against this crime. The film premiered at the 2011 APA Annual Convention in Washington, D.C., as a part of the divisional suite programming. The following fall, the film also was featured at the Institute for Violence, Abuse, and Trauma Annual Conference in San Diego, California. A discussion guide (PDF, 62KB) for the film also is available.