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Cults and Sex Trafficking


On April 16, 2016 ICSA conducted a one-day conference at the University of Southern California entitled "Cults and Sex Trafficking."  The agenda and speaker bios can be found on the conference page.

This page contains links to Power Points used during this conference and to other resources pertinent to the conference's topic. 

Cults: A Brief Overview (Jonibeth Whitney, PhD)

Impact of Cults on Members, Children, and Families (MaryJo Cysewski, MA, LMFT. Sickness prevented Ms. Cysewski from presenting, but the gist of her presentation was given by Drs. Whitney and Whitsett.)


Trafficking: Overview and Trends (Annalisa Enrile, PhD)


Supporting Human Rights by Testifying Against Human Wrongs (Alan Scheflin, JD, LLM).  A published paper with the same title can be found here.

Additional Resources on Sex Trafficking

2015 Trafficking in Persons Report (U.S. Department of State)

Fact Sheet: Sex Trafficking (Office of Trafficking in Persons, Office of the Administration for Children and Families)

Free Our Girls (provides education and training in Colorado)

Free the Girls (". . . works to provide jobs to survivors of sex trafficking in developing countries by helping them set up micro enterprises selling bras. And, through the collection of bras in Western countries, we strive to educate people and organizations about the scourge of human trafficking worldwide.") 

God's Brothel: The Extortion of Sex for Salvation in Contemporary Mormon and Christian Fundamentalist Polygamy and the Stories of 18 Women Who Escaped (Andrea Moore-Emmett)


Human Trafficking (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime)

The Coercion of Trafficked Workers (Kathleen Kim). This legal studies 2010-53 paper from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles isn't about sex trafficking, but its legal argument is relevant to sex trafficking and cults: "Theories of coercion exist across multiple disciplines to explicate the ability of one actor, the coercer, to diminish the free will of another, the coercee, in the absence of overt physical force. A valid claim of coercion places legal blame on the coercer or relinquishes the coercee from legal responsibility for a coerced act or omission. Defining the point at which coercion occurs, however, is the conceptually more difficult task. Recently, coercion has emerged as a significant source of analytic concern in a developing area of the law—contemporary involuntary labor or human trafficking."

Voices for Dignity (Voices for Dignity, Inc.™ is a non-profit organization founded to speak out against the abuse, exploitation, oppression and humiliation of human beings, to help the victims heal, to empower the survivors, and to restore their sense of dignity. To accomplish our goals, we put a strong emphasis on the power of proper storytelling. Specifically, we empower survivors of patriarchal polygamy, cults, ecclesiastical abuse, human trafficking, prostitution, rape, cyberbullying, media humiliation and other forms of trauma, including psychological violence.)