Childhood Maltreatment and Child Protective Services Involvement Among the Commercially Sexually Exploited: A Comparison of Women Who Enter as Juveniles or as Adults

Andrea N. Cimino, Elissa E. Madden, Kris Hohn, Courtney M. Cronley, Jaya B. Davis, Karen Magruder, M. Alexis Kennedy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

A risk for commercial sexual exploitation is childhood maltreatment. It’s unknown whether juveniles in commercial sexual exploitation experience more childhood maltreatment than adults or how involved child protective services is in investigating maltreatment, a focus of this study. Women (N = 96) who sold sex commercially completed a cross-sectional questionnaire. Descriptive statistics, t tests, chi-squares, and odds ratios were used to examine differences in background, childhood maltreatment, and child protective services involvement by juvenile or adult entry. Although 93% of participants experienced child maltreatment, juveniles had increased odds of parent/caregiver sexual abuse, being left alone, being kicked out, and running away from a parent/caregiver. There were no differences in cumulative childhood maltreatment resulting in an investigation or removal, indicating that juveniles not investigated or removed by child protective services had as much childhood maltreatment as juveniles who were investigated or removed by child protective services. Results highlight the need for child welfare staff to recognize childhood maltreatment as risks for commercial sexual exploitation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)352-371
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Child Sexual Abuse
Volume26
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 3 2017

Keywords

  • CPS investigations
  • physical abuse
  • prostitution
  • sex work
  • sexual abuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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