The potential trauma human trafficking survivors have experienced may impact their ability to process information, leading to frustration on the part of law enforcement in gathering statements and evidence. Victims may be unintentionally hiding or minimizing their experiences. Not through deceit, but trauma may have impacted their ability to process information, specifically, their neurobiological structures that control functioning and reasoning.
The multilayered trauma they may have experienced changes how hormones and neurotransmitters respond, and this, in turn, can impair cognitive processing. Being victimized in an intimate and personal way can lead to relational conflicts aggravated by authoritarian dynamics within traditional interviewing strategies. In addition fear, shame, and embarrassment can result in interpersonal and relational problems in dealing with authority figures.
For more on the trauma-informed approach to labor and sex trafficking, please visit IACP's Police Chief Magazine for additional information https://www.policechiefmagazine.org/trauma-informed-approach-labor-sex-trafficking/.