Date of Award

Spring 2022

Document Type



College of Behavioral and Social Sciences

Primary Advisor

Professor Scott Gaffney

Second Advisor

Professor Erika Cuffy


Thousands of people are having their human rights violated as victims of sex and labor trafficking throughout the United States. Human trafficking prevention is a significant factor in combatting modern day slavery; however, there is a substantial lack of existing literature on the topic. As a result of previous research determining mentorship programs as a strategy to reduce juvenile delinquency, this study explores mentor programs as a preventative strategy for combatting human trafficking. This mixed-methods, exploratory study investigated what mentorship programs across the United States are doing to prevent children from becoming victims of human trafficking, and what still needs to be done within those programs to reduce human trafficking. The results of the online survey sent out to mentorship program staff and directors presented that most mentor program participants (83.3%) are not currently providing information about trafficking to mentees. Qualitative analysis of the study results demonstrate that mentorship programs need more education, more mentors, and an increased focus on human trafficking to prevent mentees from trafficking. The results of this study implicate that mentorship program staff should consider including trafficking awareness training for staff and mentors, as well as including an anti-trafficking curriculum in their program targeted toward mentees.