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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 227976 Find in a Library
Title: 'Moved Around Like Bags of Rubbish Nobody Wants': How Multiple Placement Moves Can Make Young Women Vulnerable to Sexual Exploitation
Journal: Child Abuse Review  Volume:18  Issue:4  Dated:July - August 2009  Pages:254-266
Author(s): Maddy Coy
Date Published: July 2009
Page Count: 13
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This study explored how local authority care placed young women at risk of sexual exploitation.
Abstract: Results show that young women reported that multiple placement moves within care were profoundly destabilizing. Their capacities to develop trusting relationships with others and feel settled were limited by frequent placement breakdowns, leading to a multitude of ways in which they became vulnerable to sexual exploitation through prostitution. The young women in the sample expressed how changes in career prevented them from forming bonds with adults associated with professional roles, and led them to developing relationships with older predatory men and peer networks that are embedded in the street prostitution community. The powerlessness that young women described from their lack of consultation over placement moves led them to seek ways to exercise their agency (power to act), even where this involved harmful environments. Becoming part of street prostitution communities and selling sex, generating income, and perceiving themselves as adults was perceived by young women as giving them the capacity to exercise personal power in their lives. This, combined with their distrust of care giving adults, often thwarts interventions. Understanding the destabilizing impact of placement moves on young women's attempts to express autonomy may offer practitioners a way to better engage with sexually exploited young women. Data were collected from 14 young women, aged 17-33 at the time of the interviews; all were selling sex on the streets by the age of 16, with 1 as young as 11. References
Main Term(s): Child placement services; Prostitution causes
Index Term(s): Abused women; Adult offenders; Child Sexual Abuse; Juvenile shelter care; Residential child care institutions; Sex offenders; Sexual assault; Sexual assault trauma; Sexual assault victims; Sexual behavior; Young Adults (18-24)
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