The Intergenerational Transmission of Trauma: Understanding Parent-Child Relational Dynamics in the Aftermath of Human Trafficking


Trauma in one generation has been found to impact the next. In ways both subtle and overt, the traumatized individual often brings the past into the present. For parents with a history of trauma, this can have a profound effect on their parenting.

In the case of human trafficking, trauma is often at the center. Trafficking typically involves fear, intimidation, and a sense of helplessness. The current workshop will focus on the intersection of trafficking, trauma and parenting. We will consider ways in which a parent’s trafficking experience might impact the parent-child relationship. Case examples will be presented in order to illustrate specific areas of vulnerability and to identify intervention options for caseworkers involved in a family system. Additionally, a trafficking survivor will be invited to join this workshop in order to share struggles and successes related to managing the effects of trauma in the context of motherhood.


Outline/Structure of the Workshop

This will be a workshop presentation, in which material will be presented and case studies discussed. Audience participation is central to the learning, and audience members will be asked to reflect on experiences they have had working with trafficking survivors to consider new ways of looking at past encounters.

Teaching methods will include experiential exercises, video, lecture, case examples, question and answer sessions, and facilitated discussion. After covering information pertaining to each objective, the presenter will invite participants to reflect on their experiences as they pertain to the context being covered. The presented will later solicit participation from attendees by asking for case examples and by facilitating questions and discussion.

Learning Outcome

Educational Objectives

  1. Understand how traumatic reactions might impact parent-child relationships among trafficking survivors.
  2. Describe subtle and overt ways that trauma can be transmitted from one generation to the next.
  3. Name concrete tools for identifying parent-child areas of vulnerability, and list options for service providers to address these vulnerabilities.

Target Audience

Clinicians, Case workers, Advocates, Law Enforcement, Attorneys


schedule Submitted 7 years ago