The Mothering Experiences of Sex-Trafficked Women: Between Here and There

Einat Peled, Ayelet Parker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This qualitative study focuses on the mothering experiences of women from the former Soviet Union (FSU) who were sex-trafficked to Israel. In-depth interviews were conducted with 8 women who gave birth either in the FSU or in Israel. The women's stories reflect 3 experiential spheres, those of "the good mother," "the sacrificing mother," and "the mother who wants for herself." These mothering spheres were found to exist against the backdrop of a life between 2 countries, where the women's mothering is split between "here" and "there." Furthermore, it was found that the women's sex-trafficking experience continually threatened to invade the 3 mothering spheres and destabilize the balance among them. The splits and conflicts among the mothering spheres are examined from a gendered perspective with emphasis on mother-daughter relationships and on the social constructions of mothering and prostitution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)576-587
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican Journal of Orthopsychiatry
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2013


  • Abuse
  • Former Soviet Union
  • Immigrant mothers
  • Israel
  • Motherhood
  • Prostitution
  • Self-sacrifice
  • Sex industry
  • Sex-trafficked mothers
  • Sexual exploitation


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