A recent survey of mental health studies highlights an important way that organizations can help children who have suffered trauma. This particular survey looked at resilience in survivors of human trafficking, and analyzed 38 peer-reviewed studies. Most of the studies looked only at adults, but the authors noted that the findings were much the same for those studies of minors. The authors found several factors connected to increased resilience, including adaptability, goal-oriented attitudes, and spirituality. The most commonly-cited factor, however, was positive interpersonal relationships. Those relationships included family, community ties, health professionals, and mentors.
Not many of us who work in youth organizations will encounter survivors of human trafficking. But we will encounter children who have suffered other trauma or adverse childhood experiences. This study and others tell us that the most help we can provide those children is to establish a positive relationship with them. Youth-serving organizations cannot erase their trauma, but we can help build their resilience to overcome it.
Resilience in trafficking appeared largely similar to resilience in other kinds of victimization. . . . Positive interpersonal relationships were the most commonly mentioned resilience factor.