Indigenous girls and sexual exploitation in a rural B.C. town: a Photovoice study




Saraceno, Johanne

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This Photovoice study engaged Indigenous girls, aged fifteen, in a participatory study to explore their knowledge of commercial sexual exploitation. Through photos, writing, and discussion four major themes emerged: i. all the participant-researchers had directly experienced and witnessed various incidences of sexual exploitation; ii. the sexual exploitation of Indigenous girls is pervasive and normalized; iii. racialization impacts on life as an Indigenous girl, and finally; iv. friendly and accessible services are critical to preventing and intervening in sexual exploitation but are inadequate. Overall the findings that emerged from the girls’ photos and stories indicate that in view of historic conditions and ongoing racialization and sexualization Indigenous girls are very vulnerable to sexual exploitation. Broad-level change is needed in order to eventually eradicate the sexual exploitation of Indigenous girls. In the meantime, there is the continued need for immediate, community support for girls in regard to sexual exploitation. More research engaging Indigenous girls directly in knowledge creation is needed.



Indigenous girls, Gender-based violence, Photovoice, Sexual exploitation