(Preventing) secondary victimisation of trafficking victims through law enforcement interventions

Conny Rijken, Leyla Khadraoui, Marian Tankink

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Secondary victimisation during criminal proceedings is a serious risk for victims of trafficking who participate in these proceedings. Psychological onsequences of trafficking and pre-existing vulnerabilities make them prone to secondary
victimisation. Based on empirical research among trafficking victims, stakeholders and of criminal files, the article provides insights on the psychological consequences of human trafficking and identifies a number of risk factors. These are: lack of identification, lack of safety and trust, not being believed, repetition and intensity of hearings, disrespectful treatment, lack ofempathy and lack of knowledge about victim’s rights. These factors are discussed and contextualised in the current discourse withthe ultimate aim to provide indications on the prevention of secondary victimisation.
The article unveils the discrepancy between victims’ expectations towards the police to take them out of a trafficking situation, even if they decline assistance and police’s perceptions on their ability to intervene only if the victim accepts assistance. This leads to the call for further research in order to answer the question to intervene or not to intervene.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-25
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Human Trafficking, Enslavement and Conflict-Related Sexual Violence
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jul 2021


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