Sex trafficking is the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act which involves force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person involved has not attained 18 years of age. The specific forms of exploitative activity from which sex trafficking generates enormous profits are the prostitution of women and children and the filming of those acts of prostitution — i.e. pornography. This modern form of involuntary servitude involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to compel a person to perform a commercial sex act — a sex act for which anything of value is exchanged.
There are strong links between pornography and sex trafficking.
Here are some key points to understand:
- Pornography is used as a “tool” to train young children and women so that they will “know” what to do in performing sex acts.
- Often, the forced sexual acts between the prostituted woman/child and the John will be filmed and photographed and then shared elsewhere.
- Studies show that pornography users often seek to act out what they have viewed in porn. Often their partners will not engage in such acts, so they seek it elsewhere – increasing the demand for trafficked women and children to be prostituted.
- Pimps are operating more and more online as it becomes easier to connect with potential buyers and to remain anonymous. Popular websites like www.Craigslist.com and www.Facebook.com have become “virtual brothels” where one can quickly find prostituted women and children to engage in sex acts.
- As addictions to pornography increase, users seek harder and harder material. There is a recent boom in the availability of “live” porn as trafficked children and women are forced to perform “on-demand” sex acts in front of web cameras as “Johns” or porn users watch.
- Porn users do not and cannot distinguish between trafficked women, prostitutes, and porn stars.
- Pornography fuels the global sex trade by driving demand into the mainstream of society.
Additional points about sex trafficking:
- Somewhere between 100,000 and 300,000 youths are trafficked and sexually exploited for profit within the United States every year.
- According to the United Nations, 2 million children alone are prostituted in the commercial sex trade.
- More than 300,000 cases of female trafficking have been reported in the United States.
- In the U.K., 35% of trafficked women were exposed to pornography, including being shown pornography to “groom” them into prostitution.
- If a person is compelled to engage in a commercial sex act (which includes the filming of commercial pornography) through fraud she is a victim of sex trafficking.
- The use of pornography serves as a marketing tool for forms of sexual exploitation such as sex trafficking, slavery, and sex tourism.
- Of 854 women in prostitution, 49% were admitted that pornography was made of them while they were in prostitution.
- One of the most significant and persistent barriers to combating human trafficking is widespread insistence on distinguishing between sexual trafficking and prostitution.
- Men who pay to watch prostitutes be prostituted on film are long-distance johns.
GET HELP OR REPORT A CRIME:
Trafficking in Persons and Worker Exploitation Task Force at 1-888-428-7581
National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE
National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE