Campus Location

Abilene Campus (Residential)

Date of Award

Spring 5-2017



Degree Name

Master of Arts

Committee Chair or Primary Advisor

Dr. Lauren Lemley

Second Committee Member or Secondary Advisor

Dr. Kristina Davis

Third Committee Member or Committee Reader

Dr. Paul Lakey


This thesis explores various facets of human trafficking ranging from signs of victims to recruitment methods of traffickers, focusing specifically on the inherent connection of complex trauma as an effect of experiencing exploitation. Trauma serves as the overarching theme throughout this paper as I analyze anti-trafficking institutional organizations and their training curricula as well as non-institutional organizations and their awareness-raising material. The questions I focus on are: How do institutional texts and training curriculum prepare individuals to interact with victims of trauma? And how do non-institutional awareness-raising materials educate audiences who do not work directly with victims of trafficking on trauma? By utilizing a rhetorical framework for analysis, I use social norms, framing, and standpoint theory to examine the texts of each institutional and non-institutional organization. I find that being educated on and comprehending the social norms of trafficking victims, how to frame messages about trafficking, and understanding the experiences lived by victims of trafficking, are all fundamental to institutional and non-institutional organizations’ goal of effectively training individuals to work directly with trafficking victims as well as creating a heightened and realistic sense of awareness for varying audiences who do not work directly with victims of human trafficking.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Included in

Rhetoric Commons



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