Bringing Light to the Darkness of Human Trafficking (Trafficking in Persons)

PYMTitleImage May2017 SexTrafficking

I became a lawyer so I could fight the injustice of sex trafficking. I wanted to help free the oppressed who were bound in the brothels and back-alleys of the global sex trade.  But I soon realized that fighting injustice required more than daring rescues and prosecutions.

Justice demanded that I recognize the truth: when I consumed pornography I was contributing to the very problem I was trying to solve. Sex trafficking and pornography are two fruits of the same tree, both rooted in the exploitation of human beings.

Clicks Fuel Demand for Sex Trafficking

As a society, we all need to recognize that “clicks” on porn sites fuel the global sex trade. Here are three clear ways porn consumption and trafficking are linked:

#1 Porn consumption increases demand for trafficked women and children. Porn is described as the wallpaper of the digital age and like any other form of media or advertising, it shapes attitudes and influences behavior. Specifically, porn grooms people to accept the idea of transactional, commercial sex by conditioning them to see others as objects, not persons. It also shapes our desires and appetites, creating a push to act out and experience the scenarios, the “sensations” that we’ve seen.  Like husband and pastor Nate Larkin, far too many people who are dabbling or addicted later confess, “Porn took me places I never intended to go.

While porn increases demand it also erodes compassion.  As studies like this demonstrate, those who are are consumers of commercial sex (porn, strip clubs, etc.) are less likely believe that combating human trafficking should be a priority. To say that porn kills love and justice is not a stretch—it’s social science.

#2 Trafficking victims are used in the production of porn. Millions and millions of internet webpages are filled with people who were first recruited, enticed, and coerced into commercial sex. Many pornography performers have endured abuse, rape, and other forms of violence.

The actual experience of a woman [or man] in the porn industry is grim.The typical performer is in her late teens or early twenties, was likely sexually abused as a child, is probably addicted to drugs, transient, and economically desperate. In all likelihood, she first entered the industry while still a child.

While her background is fraught with abuse and hardship, the typical performer is abused further in the process of making pornography. Not only is she subjected to punishing sexual acts with a continuous stream of strangers, she must deal with grueling schedules, unsanitary conditions, low pay, and terrible health risks.

On average, her hellish stint as a “porn star” will last all of 18 months, after which she is left broke, broken, and bereft of her dignity. –Exploited: Sex Trafficking, Porn Culture, and the Call to a Lifestyle of Justice

While pornographic content includes trafficked victims from around the world, porn consumers aren’t told anything about the performers, including which ones may have been trafficked from an early age. Regular users of internet pornography are likely consuming pornography that includes adult and child victims of sex trafficking.

#3 Under our federal laws, porn production is a form of sex trafficking. The Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) defines sex trafficking as “the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act.” This definition precisely describes the workaday world of porn producers.

The more troubling question is whether “severe” forms of sex trafficking (including force, fraud, coercion, or the use of minors) often occur in the production of pornography.

Most likely the answer is yes. Over the decades, research into the inner-workings of the industry has turned up such evidence. As Shelley Lubben, a former porn performer has publicly testified: “Women are lured in, coerced and forced to do sex acts they never agreed to do…[and given] drugs and alcohol to help [them] get through hardcore scenes…. The porn industry is modern-day slavery.”

Article from: https://protectyoungminds.org/2017/05/04/3-ways-porn-sex-trafficking-linked/?fbclid=IwAR3PKSU9rSQaiyiSU4HsXAxxpRsuhfTexlUp-twHKJglGeqT7l5pphu82KA