Sexual exploitation of children and adolescents is a pressing, yet largely under-recognized form of child abuse. The goals of this review were to identify interventions that have been implemented with sexually exploited children and adolescents and to better understand their effectiveness for fostering healing with this population. Our systematic search generated 4,358 publications of which 21 met our inclusion criteria. Based on their objectives and delivery, we organized the interventions into five categories: (a) focused health and/or social services, (b) intensive case management models, (c) psychoeducational therapy groups, (d) residential programs, and (e) other. Most programs were gender-specific, targeting girls and young women with just one being for boys and young men only. Studies reported on a range of outcomes including psychosocial outcomes, risky behaviors, trauma responses, mental health, protective factors, and public health outcomes. Despite differences in delivery, most of the interventions did, to some degree, appear to foster healing among sexually exploited children and adolescents. Findings from this review have implications for researchers, policy and program developers, and frontline practitioners who, through partnerships with one another, can advocate for the creation of evidence informed, purpose-built, and thoughtfully delivered interventions.
Moynihan M, Pitcher C, & Saewyc E. (2018). Interventions that Foster Healing Among Sexually Exploited Children and Adolescents: A Systematic Review. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, 27(4): 403-423. DOI: 10.1080/10538712.2018.1477220.