Silke Brigitta Gahleitner, Ph.D., studied Social Work and got her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the Free University in Berlin, Germany. She received psychotherapy training in Austria, then worked for many years as a psychotherapist, especially in the area of violence and trauma. Since 2006, she is professor for Clinical Psychology, Psychotherapy and Counseling at the University of Applied Sciences in Berlin. From 2012 to 2015 she was professor for Integrative Therapy and Psychosocial Interventions at the Department for Psychotherapy and Biopsychosocial Health at the Danube-University Krems (sb@gahleitner.net, www.gahleitner.net)

Katharina Gerlich, Ph.D., studied Sociology and Gender Studies at the University of Vienna, Austria. From 2009 to 2018 she has been a member of the academic staff and teaches in the Department for Psychotherapy and Biopsychosocial Health at the Danube-University in Krems, Austria. Her research interest lays with qualitative sociological data collection and analysis methods. During her work in Krems she developed an interest in questions of psychosocial interventions, psychotherapy, and research and gender studies. Under Prof. Silke Birgitta Gahleitner, she was involved in a number of research projects on youth welfare and residential youth welfare units.

Roshan Heiler holds a Master’s degree of Latin American Studies from the University of Cologne. In 2010 she started working for the women’s rights organization SOLWODI e.V.. Since 2011 she is the director of a counselling centre for victims of trafficking in Aachen, Germany. She is also involved in research projects on the issues of human trafficking for sexual exploitation of women and children. She has gathered experience in dark working with dark field methods. In 2015 she served as an operations assistant at INTERPOL, Lyon, France. Prior to this she was a research assistant at the German Federal Police Office in Wiesbaden, studying trends of human trafficking in Europe.

Heidemarie Hinterwallner studied Sociology and Social Work. From 2008 to 2017 she was member of the academic staff and teaches at the Department for Psychotherapy and Biopsychosocial Health at the Danube-University in Krems, Austria. Hinterwallner studied Sociology and Clinical Social Work at the University of Vienna as well as at the FH Campus Wien University of Applied Sciences. She is interested in qualitative methods, psychosocial interventions, medicine, and health sociology.

Edith Huber, Ph.D., is a senior researcher at the Danube University Krems. She has finished her PhD in Social Sciences. Her research focuses Social Science and Criminology. She was involved in more than 20 research projects.

Mascha Körner. Since March 2018 she has worked at the Lower Saxony State Criminal Police Office as a research assistant in the project 'Security and Diversity in the Quarter (DiverCity)', where she is primarily responsible for criminological issues from a qualitative perspective. Since the beginning of 2019, she has been researching police interrogation standards in the BMBF project 'Survey Standards for Germany (BEST)' as scientific director. Before joining the LKA Niedersachsen, she worked as a psychologist and criminologist in the BMBF-funded German-Austrian project “Prevention and Intervention in Human Trafficking for the Purpose of Sexual Exploitation (PRIMSA),” where she investigated criminalistic, socio-spatial, and crime prevention perspectives of the phenomenon. Parallel to her work as a research assistant, she is doing her doctorate on “Psychological dependencies between perpetrators and victims in the field of trafficking in human beings/forced prostitution.”

Josef Pfaffenlehner, M.A., is the deputy head of the Institute for Science and Research in the Federal Ministry of the Interior in the Republic of Austria.

Yvette Völschow, Ph.D. Since 2008, she is a Professor of Social and Educational Sciences at the University of Vechta, Germany. She is head of the Department Reflexive Development of Individuals and Organisations. Her work and research priorities are Counseling (especially with a focus on peer counseling formats, coaching, and supervision) and Criminology (especially crime prevention and intimate violence). From 2004-2007, she was Professor of Social Sciences and Education at the University of Administration, Faculty of Police Lower Saxony at the Faculty of Police. From 2014 to 2018, she was the project manager of the BMBF-funded transnational German-Austrian project “Prevention and Intervention in Human Trafficking for the Purpose of Sexual Exploitation (PRIMSA).”


Many victims of trafficking in women are not reached by the available support services despite numerous measures that have been put in place on both the national and international levels. This deficiency is due to the inadequacy of the support systems, which do not meet the needs of the women concerned. A bilateral Austro-German research project entitled “Prävention und Intervention bei Menschenhandel zum Zweck sexueller Ausbeutung (PRIMSA) [“Prevention and intervention in the trafficking of human beings for the purpose of sexual exploitation”] was set up with the aim of developing ideas for a multidisciplinary prevention and intervention scheme. This article presents a case study of one of the women from a Central European country who was interviewed and the selected results on the need for training on trust-building and attachment with victims.

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