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“They Did Not Pay Attention or Want to Listen When We Spoke”: Women’s Experiences in a Trafficking-Specific Shelter in Cambodia

“They Did Not Pay Attention or Want to Listen When We Spoke”: Women’s Experiences in a... Human trafficking is a global challenge that violates fundamental human rights. While the risk factors and health impacts of human trafficking have been well documented, the potential for survivors’ resilience is far less understood. In Southeast Asia, the majority of trafficking-specific services have historically been concentrated in shelters, and yet evidenced-based protocols for shelter services are lacking. This study aligns with the growing literature that emphasizes the importance of feminist and trauma-informed services to support the long-term well-being of survivors of human trafficking. Drawing on qualitative data collected over a 6-year period, the analysis foregrounds the lived experiences and perspectives of 10 women who resided in the same trafficking-specific shelter. Six core themes emerged: being labeled as a victim of human trafficking despite contesting this classification, feeling forced to live in the shelter, a strong desire to leave the shelter environment, disempowering engagement with staff, lack of professionalism among staff, and limitations in vocational services. Collectively, these participant narratives reflect a marked divergence from feminist principles and illustrate the potential for recreating conditions that curtail women’s agency and cause harm within the shelter system. We conclude with a discussion of the implications for a feminist approach to shelter-based service delivery and practice. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Affilia SAGE

“They Did Not Pay Attention or Want to Listen When We Spoke”: Women’s Experiences in a Trafficking-Specific Shelter in Cambodia

Affilia , Volume OnlineFirst: 1 – Jan 1, 2021

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Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
© The Author(s) 2021
ISSN
0886-1099
eISSN
1552-3020
DOI
10.1177/0886109920984839
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Human trafficking is a global challenge that violates fundamental human rights. While the risk factors and health impacts of human trafficking have been well documented, the potential for survivors’ resilience is far less understood. In Southeast Asia, the majority of trafficking-specific services have historically been concentrated in shelters, and yet evidenced-based protocols for shelter services are lacking. This study aligns with the growing literature that emphasizes the importance of feminist and trauma-informed services to support the long-term well-being of survivors of human trafficking. Drawing on qualitative data collected over a 6-year period, the analysis foregrounds the lived experiences and perspectives of 10 women who resided in the same trafficking-specific shelter. Six core themes emerged: being labeled as a victim of human trafficking despite contesting this classification, feeling forced to live in the shelter, a strong desire to leave the shelter environment, disempowering engagement with staff, lack of professionalism among staff, and limitations in vocational services. Collectively, these participant narratives reflect a marked divergence from feminist principles and illustrate the potential for recreating conditions that curtail women’s agency and cause harm within the shelter system. We conclude with a discussion of the implications for a feminist approach to shelter-based service delivery and practice.

Journal

AffiliaSAGE

Published: Jan 1, 2021

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