Research Project

Sex Trafficking in
Sacramento County

Thanks to the dedication of Senator Richard Pan and Councilman Eric Guerra, Community Against Sexual Harm is the lead organization on a 3-year research project to Estimate the Scope of Sex-Trafficking in Sacramento County. This focused research is being conducted in partnership with the Research Triangle Institute (RTI), an independent, nonprofit research institute, and their team of experts in victimization, criminology, public health, and statistics and with Sacramento State Institute for Social Research, an interdisciplinary center which works to improve programs and policies within the Sacramento region and throughout the state.

The research team is joined by a Survivor Advisory Council that meets monthly to advise and assist with this project.

Institute for Social Research

Despite dramatic increases in public attention and improved responses from governmental and non-governmental organizations to human trafficking, it has proven difficult to reliably measure the magnitude of the problem. Improving the quality of information about human trafficking is essential to evaluate the effectiveness of anti-trafficking responses.

— Capturing Human Trafficking Victimization Through Crime Reporting

Helping Survivors Through Identifying Trafficking Patterns

Communities nationwide are acknowledging the local presence of sex trafficking. State and local law enforcement, alongside community advocates, victim service providers, policymakers, and the public, are united in combatting this crime.

However, a fundamental question arises among our local stakeholders: What is the extent and nature of the issue in our Sacramento area? Recognizing and comprehending the scope of sex trafficking within a city is crucial for initiating efforts to identify and assist survivors.

Quantifying sex trafficking victimization presents challenges due to various factors, yet recent studies indicate the effectiveness of certain methodologies. The most reliable estimates stem from micro-level investigations into human trafficking prevalence, targeting distinct, clearly defined populations, and employing tailored recruitment strategies. Insights gleaned from studies using these approaches can significantly enhance stakeholders' anti-trafficking endeavors.


To grasp the extent and characteristics of sex trafficking in Sacramento County, California.


Employ data sampling methodologies to gauge the prevalence of sex trafficking in Sacramento County over a span of 5 years and gain deeper insights into the realities faced by survivors.


This initiative marked the initial assessment of sex trafficking in Sacramento County. Enhancing comprehension of the firsthand experiences of sex trafficking survivors is pivotal for forming impactful policies and strategies for prevention, identification, and intervention to combat trafficking.

Advocating for Trafficking Survivors Using Data-Driven Insights

Funded by the California Department of Justice through Community Against Sexual Harm (CASH), this project involves a partnership between CASH, RTI International, and the Institute for Social Research at Sacramento State University. Critically important has been the inclusion of a Survivor Advisory Council (SAC), through CASH, composed of survivors of sex trafficking who have contributed to the study instruments, design, recruitment methods, and interpretation of findings.

Learn More

Leveraging Research-Practitioner Partnerships to Improve Human Trafficking Prevalence Studies

Barriers and Facilitators to Leaving a Trafficker: A Qualitative Analysis of the Accounts of People Who Have Experienced Sex Trafficking

Survivor Experiences with Law Enforcement

Exploring Gaps in Identification: Estimating the Prevalence of Sex Trafficking in Sacramento County

Survivors of Sex Trafficking, Their Children, and Opportunities for Intervention

Improving Survivors’ Experiences With Services Through Peer Advocacy

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