Stigma, Cognitive Emotional Regulation and Psychological Distress in Victims of Women Trafficking
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Women trafficking, stigma, emotional regulation, psychological distress.


The present research was conducted to investigate the relationship among stigma (i.e. self & public), emotional regulation and psychological distress in victims of women trafficking, specifically women who have been trafficked for sexual exploitation. For this purpose, 217 women were approached from Dar-ul-Aman (Women Shelter Homes), NGO’s and red-light areas of Lahore, Pakistan. Quantitative correlation survey research design with convenient purposive sampling technique was used in the present study. Sociodemographic sheet, Measures of Stigma, Cognitive Emotional Regulation Questionnaire and Depression, Anxiety and Stress (DASS) were administered on the participants to collect the data. The hypothesis stated that there is likely to be a relationship among stigma, emotional regulation, and psychological distress. The results revealed a significant positive correlation between stigma (i.e. self & public) and psychological distress (i.e. depression, anxiety & stress). However, only self-stigma had a significant positive relationship with cognitive emotional regulation planning and positive focusing (subscales of emotional regulation). The results are discussed in the light of previous literature and cultural explanation. The results have important implications for clinical psychologists. They are also important for general population as women who suffer trafficking are marginalized segment of the society and their needs especially psychological needs are largely neglected.  

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