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Virtual CINA Distinguished Speaker Series- Jodi Quas: Enhancing Disclosures in Victims of Sex Trafficking: Science Guiding Solutions
May 14, 2020 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
The CINA Distinguished Speaker Series invites leading experts from fields related to the disruption of criminal activities across the physical and cyber spaces. Join us for a discussion about disclosure reluctance in sex trafficking victims, including research about methods that can increase interview findings and support law enforcement efforts to help victims and identify perpetrators.
Enhancing Disclosures in Victims of Sex Trafficking: Science Guiding Solutions
Despite growing recognition of the prevalence and consequences of sex trafficking, efforts to intervene on behalf of victims and prosecute perpetrators remain challenging, in large part due to difficulties identifying victims. They rarely disclose their experiences or reveal the identity of perpetrators. Trafficking instead is often discovered indirectly during victims’ encounters with professionals, including law enforcement, who may suspect trafficking and must then question the victims to obtain details about their experiences, needs, and perpetrators. In this presentation, I will discuss disclosure reluctance and evasiveness in suspected victims of sex trafficking and the challenges faced by law enforcement when questioning these victims. I will then describe larger bodies of research concerning disclosure in other vulnerable populations, including child victims of sexual abuse victims and juvenile offenders, focusing primarily on research concerning methods of increasing these populations’ reporting accuracy and completeness. Findings provides a crucial foundation for recommendation regarding effective interviewing approaches for suspected trafficking victims. Increasing their disclosures will significantly improve identification and intervention efforts for victims and prosecution of perpetrators.
Jodi Quas, Ph.D., is Professor of Psychological Science in the Interdisciplinary School of Social Ecology at the University of California, Irvine. She is internationally recognized for her work on children’s eyewitness capabilities, abuse disclosure, and consequences of legal involvement on child victims, witnesses, and defendants. She has received numerous awards for her work, including the Scientific Early Career Contributions in Developmental Psychology from the American Psychological Association, and the Nicholas Hobbs Award for Career Contributions from the Society for Child and Family Policy and Practice. She is dedicated not only to pursuing rigorous science on crucial topics relevant to identifying and intervening on behalf of victimized children, but also to disseminating findings to diverse audiences. She conducts workshops for law enforcement, legal professionals, educators, and social service professionals in the U.S. and abroad. As a Fulbright Specialist, she worked in Asunción Paraguay training academic and medical professionals, government agencies, non-profit organizations, and the public on the consequences of maltreatment on children, families, and communities, and on improved methods of identifying and protecting victimized children.