Journey Out is committed to meeting the ongoing challenges facing victims of commercial sexual exploitation. Through comprehensive service provision with trained, dedicated staff, many of whom are survivors themselves, we empower clients to leave a life of abuse and violence, overcome their fears and achieve their goals. Additionally, we offer prevention education to equip young people with critical awareness and resources that can keep them from ever entering the life in the first place.
A critical component to the care we provide includes clinical therapy.
Therapist Jennifer Dean, LCSW, has been serving our clients for almost six years. Jennifer brings trauma-informed care to the clients at Journey Out, while also serving clients in her private practice, Woodland Hills Therapy.
Jennifer Dean, LCSW, is a psychotherapist who has been seeing individual clients and facilitating groups at Journey Out for almost six years. She holds a Master’s degree is clinical social work with an emphasis in urban populations, and is currently a Doctoral candidate who will receive a PhD in psychoanalytic psychotherapy. Her passion for helping women who have experienced sex trafficking and abuse have led her to advocate for victims locally and globally, as well as conducting empowerment based programs directed towards at risk girls and foster youth. Learn more about her approach here. You can also check out our YouTube segment on how to build rapport with survivors of trauma.
Victims of sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation are intensely manipulated and coerced by pimps and traffickers to believe that they are willing participants in their own exploitation and worthless beyond their role as a money generating commodity.
The average age of entrance to the commercial sex industry is
are victims of childhood sexual molestation
of domestically trafficked women and girls are/were runaway or throwaway youth.
California harbors 3 of the FBI’s 13 highest child sex trafficking areas of the nation:
Los Angeles | San Francisco | San Diego
in confirmed sex trafficking cases are identified as U.S. Citizens.
Human trafficking is the world’s 3rd largest international crime industry (behind illegal drugs & arms trafficking)
It reportedly generates a profit of 32 BILLION EVERY YEAR.
A sexually exploited individual’s history of victimization and trauma sets them up for the psychological belief that they deserve no better and have no other options. The journey out of such abusive and violent situations is a difficult one, especially because the individuals involved have often been subjected to abuse since childhood; they are truly the children that got left behind. For many of them there is no such thing as choice, and once they are in it, it is extremely difficult to get out.
Commercially sexually exploited individuals are subject to physical injuries and psychological and emotional abuse on a daily bases. Injuries such as broken bones, concussions, burns, traumatic brain injury are but a few physical issues, and among Journey Out clients 75% suffer from mental health issues such as anxiety, depression and post traumatic stress disorder. An overwhelming number, 87%, have histories of childhood sexual abuse.
As a result, commercially sexually exploited individuals are among some of the most vulnerable populations experiencing issues such as homelessness, mental health problems, substance abuse, rape and sexual trauma, domestic abuse and general violence against women and vulnerable populations such as those identifying as LGBTQ+.