The Impact of Abuse History and Trauma Symptoms on Successful Completion of a Prostitution-exiting Program

Dominique Roe-Sepowitz, Kristine E. Hickle, Andrea Cimino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations


This study examines the trauma symptoms and life experiences of 49 women in a residential prostitution-exiting program and identifies differences among women who complete 90 days of the program and women who drop out of the program prior to completing 90 days. The majority of the women reported childhood abuse, adult abusive relationships, and victimization. Women who completed 90 days of treatment were found to be older than the non-completers. Non-completers were more likely to report clinically significant trauma symptoms including dissociation, poor coping behaviors, sex-related issues, and dysfunctional sexual behavior than completers. These findings suggest the importance of incorporating trauma-focused intervention early in the services provided in the exiting programs as well as the need to address the traumatic symptoms related to childhood and adult trauma histories. Findings also indicate the importance of clinically addressing trauma-related sexual issues, concerns, and behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-77
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012



  • abuse
  • competing treatment
  • exiting
  • prostitution
  • Prostitution-exiting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Anthropology

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