Systemic Overview of Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC): The Psychology & Risk Factors behind the Vulnerable

Workshop Description

This workshop will focus on the psychological, behavioral, spiritual and social environmental response of a commercially sexually exploited child. The presenter will underscore the importance of understanding the secondary symptoms of childhood sexual abuse and its indisputable correlation into the life of commercial sexual exploitation. Presenters and attendees will engage in an in depth conversation about the power of choice: choice in entrance and leaving. Trauma bonding and repetition compulsion, also known as repetitive exposure, will be the focus of discussion and the conveying point to which heavily impacts the power of choice. Cultural normalcies and social constructions will be addressed and shown to exacerbate this unfortunate phenomenon. As attendees gain a new perspective, our hope is that a renewed sense of empathy and understanding is developed for this population: empathy that fuels mobility in the form of an accurate assessment and interventive strategies, as well as the use of evidence-based theoretical approaches currently being used with this population, such as motivational interviewing, EMDR, and TF-CBT. Further, an appeal to the practicing community to integrate narrative therapeutic ideas when working with the CSEC population will be addressed.


Sambra Zaoui, LMSW

Sambra Zaoui, LMSW is an instructor at Barry University’s School of Social Work. She is a clinical social worker with more than 15 years of experience specializing in women and trauma, and families who organize around substance misuse. Zaoui teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses including Advanced Practice with Families, Individuals, Addiction, Women, and Trauma and Resilience. She has extensive experience conducting groups with diverse populations, and is currently conducting a self-authored group: Crossing the Jordan. The group is designed to address childhood sexual abuse and secondary symptomatology through a 12-week didactic group curriculum. As an advisory board member and educational consultant to the Life of Freedom, Zaoui has been extremely involved in the abolition of human trafficking. She also supervises interns for both Life of Freedom and Project Gold.