Examining the support needs of individuals who have experienced sexual exploitation in Australia

Christie Franks1, Samantha Lyneham1, Hayley Boxall1

1Australian Institute Of Criminology, Canberra, Australia

Sexual exploitation is a serious and complex crime that affects victims in many ways. However, there is currently little evidence that documents client support needs and experiences of support within an Australian context. In partnership with the Australian Red Cross and Project Respect, the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) conducted a small-scale study to better understand the support needs of people who have experienced sexual exploitation.

The AIC analysed case files extracted for clients who received support for sexual exploitation since 2015 across the two services. Data examined also included interview transcripts with case managers supporting victims-survivors of sexual exploitation. This paper examines the journey of individuals with lived experiences of sexual exploitation through the various service streams available in Australia. In particular, it describes the support needs and experiences of people who have experienced sexual exploitation, assesses the extent to which support needs were met, explores the factors that have enabled support needs to be met and identifies barriers or gaps that have prevented effective support. This research presents an opportunity to contribute knowledge that can inform immediate program delivery as well as the broader evidence base around responding to people who have experienced sexual exploitation.


Christie Franks is a Research Analyst in the Violence against Women and Children Research Program. Christie’s areas of expertise are human trafficking and modern slavery, identity crime, and biometric technology. Her previous work in cyber security and dark net profiling contributes to her work at the AIC by adding a necessary technology lens perspective in an increasingly digital dependent society. In addition to this research, Christie has been involved in multiple AIC identity crime and biometrics projects to inform policy, the development of monitoring and evaluation frameworks for government programs, and research examining offender pathways to intimate partner homicide.


Aug 30 2021


8:00 am - 6:00 pm