Tammy Schultz [https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6948-9903] is a Professor, Interim Program Director of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program, and Co-coordinator of the Trauma Certificate at Wheaton College, Illinois. She is actively engaged in research with women exiting prostitution who are in an alternative court program for women (CATCH Court). She has passionately taught about the healing from sexual abuse and other forms of trauma around the globe.

Aimee Callender [https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5416-2732] is an Associate Professor of Psychology in the undergraduate Psychology Program at Wheaton College, Illinois. She has a PhD in Cognitive Psychology and has expertise in analyzing text-based responses as well as long-term memory.

Sally Schwer Canning [https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5588-7599] is Professor of Psychology in the Clinical Psychology doctoral program at Wheaton College, and a Behavioral Health Consultant and supervisor at the Lawndale Christian Health Center in Chicago, Illinois. A community/clinical psychologist, Dr. Canning is committed to collaborating for the well-being of children, adolescents, adults and families living in urban contexts of poverty and oppression. Her research, clinical practice, training and consultation are aimed at enhancing culturally competent, accessible psychological resources in these communities.

Jacey Collins [https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9196-8601] is a clinician at a residential treatment center in Springfield, Missouri, where she works with young girls who have been taken out of abusive environments. As a May 2020 graduate from Wheaton College's Clinical Mental Health Counseling program, she is excited to begin her career in the mental health field and hopes to specialize in trauma-informed therapy and psycho-oncology.


There is burgeoning research on intimate partner violence (IPV) experiences among women globally. However, there is a dearth of research on IPV experiences among marginalized populations in Western countries. Over the past decade, IPV research has shifted from a focus only on physical and sexual violence to include coercive control experiences. These include a continuum of nonviolent behaviors centered on maintaining dominance over one’s partner. However, the empirical literature on examining coercive control among women in prostitution within non-commercial intimate partners is lacking. In this study, we analyzed interviews with 17 women exiting prostitution and examined reported IPV sexual, physical, and coercive control experiences perpetrated by intimate partners. Our findings revealed that participants experienced extensive physical and sexual IPV as well as physical and non-physical coercive control within non-commercial partner relationships. Coercive control was the most frequent type of abuse reported. All nine investigated coercive control tactics were represented within participants’ descriptions. Of these, exploitation (36%), intimidation (16.3%), degradation (12.5%), and deception (10.0%) were the most commonly identified. Understanding and assessing violent actions and control dynamics within non-commercial intimate partner relationships among women exiting prostitution have important implications for various stakeholders within the criminal justice system.

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