The Effects Of Violence And Abuse On Female Prostitutes

4380 words - 18 pages

The Effects of Violence and Abuse on Female ProstitutesIntroductionProstitution takes on many definitions as it relates to sex for hire. Operationally defined, prostitution is a behavior that involves the exchange of sexual services for economic compensation in the form of drugs, money, or needed resources, for example, housing or food (Murphy, 2010). Women who are prostituting come up against many forms of risk taking behavior that may lead them into paths of sexual abuse or violence and can ultimately end up matching the criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Carson (2012) reported that prostitutes, also known as sex workers, are at an increased risk for experiencing violence. Although not focusing primarily on psychological impacts of sex work, Sanders (2004) noted that the psychological impacts of selling sex are not only hazardous but may but one at risk for certain health consequences. Some address the impact on mental health that may come from sex workers' exposure to violence. In fact, Reza-Paul (2012) noted that sex workers face violence in many forms ranging from verbal, psychological and emotional abuse to economic extortion, physical and sexual violence. This study along with the previously stated studies attempt to recognize how physically, mentally and emotionally damaging prostitution can be for women. The Connection of Sexual Abuse and Drug AbuseWomen who are forced into prostitution may have a tendency to become involved in drug use as a means of survival. However Cohen & Hien (2006) created a true-experimental research design consisting of assessing the effect of cognitive-behavioral therapy on PTSD on women with substance abuse and those have experienced complex trauma. They were able to find a connection between previous accounts of sexual abuse and current drug use. They used a non-probability availability sample of 107 women with current or subthreshold PTSD and a current substance use disorder from an urban, low-income area. Results of the experiment showed that after three months participants in the treatment group showed significant reductions in PTSD and alcohol use disorder symptoms compared to the control group. It was also noted that the researchers found that as many as 80 percent of women who are seeking treatment for substance use disorders report a lifetime history of sexual assault, physical assault, or both.Research has also been conducted to explore the links between childhood sexual abuse (CSA), childhood physical abuse (CPA), and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)/depression on women injection drug users (IDU's). Plotzker, Metzger & Holmes (2007), used a non-probability, convenience, availability sample of 113 women between the ages of 18 and 70. All participants had recently injected and were recruited by one investigator from two...

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