Family Separation, Reunification, and Intergenerational Trauma in the Aftermath of Human Trafficking in the United States


  • Kamolwan ‘Juli’ Juabsamai
  • Ileana Taylor



human trafficking, trauma, intergenerational transmission of trauma, family reunification, family resiliency


Family reunification is a complex part of a survivor’s journey; its processes long, arduous, and unassured. This article seeks to examine the intricacies of human trafficking and family separation in migration, and intergenerational trauma following family reunification. The authors apply theoretical frameworks and concepts established by literature on migration and trauma, and provide a case study to explain the implications of family separation that occurs during and after the survivor’s human trafficking experience. Written from the perspective of social service providers, this article also provides a look at life after trafficking and how the individual’s worldview is altered by the trauma endured, resulting in possible intergenerational transmission of trauma from parent to child. The article explains the family’s process of moving from crisis back to balance, and the need for adjustment and adaptation, flexibility and cohesion in finding resilience. Finally, the authors discuss family resiliency frameworks as empowering models for serving survivors of human trafficking and their families during the reunification process. With the appropriate support, families can move forward in their journey towards healing.


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Author Biographies

Kamolwan ‘Juli’ Juabsamai

Kamolwan ‘Juli’ Juabsamai, MSW, is a Thai-American woman from Connecticut. In 2017, she graduated from Fordham University’s Graduate School of Social Service where she obtained her MSW with a focus in Community-Based Practice and Leadership. Juli has diverse experience in the field of anti-trafficking, working with organisations in the New York Metro Area, as well as abroad. She also specialises in advocacy, fundraising, case management, and trauma-focused supportive counselling with survivors. Currently, Juli works as a Social Worker at Safe Horizon’s Anti-Trafficking Program. Juli also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations from Suffolk University.

Ileana Taylor

Ileana Taylor has been working in the Safe Horizon Anti-Trafficking Program since its inception in 2001 as an Intensive Case Manager. Ileana received her MSW from Adelphi University in 2015 and her LMSW from the State University of New York in March 2016. Ileana holds an Associate’s Degree in Mental Health from LaGuardia Community College and a certificate from the International Trauma Studies Program at New York University. Ileana served as a Student-Member-at-Large of the National Association of Social Workers for the 2013–2014 term. Ileana was the recipient of the 2014–2015 Latino Social Work Coalition Scholarship.




How to Cite

Juabsamai, K. ‘Juli’, & Taylor, I. (2018). Family Separation, Reunification, and Intergenerational Trauma in the Aftermath of Human Trafficking in the United States. Anti-Trafficking Review, (10).