Truth as a Victim: The challenge of anti-trafficking education in the age of Q


  • Bond Benton
  • Daniela Peterka-Benton



QAnon, conspiracy theory, anti-trafficking education, trafficking myths


The QAnon conspiracy threatens anti-trafficking education because of its broad dissemination and focus on a range of myths about trafficking. These myths are rooted in historic and ongoing misinformation about abductions, exploitation, and community threats. This article examines the extent of QAnon’s co-optation of human trafficking discourses and evaluates its connection to trafficking myths, particularly related to gender, race, class, and agency. From this perspective, the article considers how anti-trafficking education can respond to these myths and build a pedagogy in the age of Q.


Metrics Loading ...

Author Biographies

Bond Benton

Bond Benton is an Associate Professor of Public Relations at Montclair State University. He obtained his doctorate from the University of Vienna, with his dissertation focusing on the influence of culture on meaning. A particular focus of Dr Benton’s research is the interaction of media, branding, and cross-cultural communication as it relates to the values and decisions of constituencies. Dr Benton’s essays and research articles have appeared in journals and anthologies including The Journal of E-Learning and Digital Media, Public Relations Tactics, Cases in Public Relations Strategy, The Journal of Popular Culture, The Journal of Applied Security Studies, and Studies in Communication Sciences. He is the author o the book, The Challenge of Working for Americans: Perspectives of an international workforce (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014). Dr Benton also works on the communication team of the Global Center on Human Trafficking at Montclair State University.

Daniela Peterka-Benton

Daniela Peterka-Benton is an Associate Professor of Justice Studies at Montclair State University. She obtained her doctorate in Sociology, with a specialisation in Criminology from the University of Vienna. Her research interests centre around transnational crimes such as human trafficking, human smuggling, arms trafficking, and right-wing terrorism and extremism. Dr Peterka-Benton has published numerous articles in journals including International Migration Review, The Journal of the Institute of Justice & International Studies, and The Journal of Applied Security Research, and is currently working on a human trafficking data analysis grant with the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice. Prior to her focusing on a full-time academic career, Dr Peterka-Benton worked for the US State Department’s Office of Diplomatic Security at the US Embassy in Vienna, Austria. Dr Peterka-Benton also holds leadership positions in Education, Training and Grants for the Global Center on Human Trafficking at Montclair State University.




How to Cite

Benton, B., & Peterka-Benton, D. (2021). Truth as a Victim: The challenge of anti-trafficking education in the age of Q. Anti-Trafficking Review, (17), 113–131.