Feminist Psychology Combats the Trafficking of Women and Girls

By Rakhshanda Saleem and Usha Tummala-Narra
September 13, 2011

The Division's Special Committee on Violence Against Women has taken a major step this year in raising awareness about human trafficking and modern-day slavery. The Committee has produced an extensive report on human trafficking, particularly the trafficking of women and girls. This important document includes the prevalence and socio-demographics of modern slavery and trafficking. Factors contributing to women's and girls' vulnerability to human trafficking, including immigration status, are also explored. It is important for those working in the area of human trafficking to be aware of the psychological consequences of slavery and this report examines these mental health issues. Finally, the report takes an interdisciplinary approach to investigating the needed interventions to effectively combat the trafficking of women and girls.

The committee co-chairs and lead writers are Rakhshanda Saleem and Usha Tummala-Narra. The other committee members who are co-authors of this important report are Sannisha Dale, Milena Doerfer Claudius, Carol Gomez, and Nalina Narain. The committee hosted a special session on the trafficking of women and girls at the American Psychological Association Annual Convention in the Division 35 suite. Plans for dissemination were discussed, including the steps that are being taken to convert the report into a brochure to be used for advocacy, nationally and internationally.