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The fight against sex-trafficking continues to gain momentum in Nebraska and nationally. Despite important victories in this area, there’s an elephant in the room that remains unaddressed: pornography. Here are 3 ways pornography is a tool of sex-traffickers:

#1 Pornography is used to train and desensitize victims

Sex-trafficking victims are regularly forced to view pornography as a sort of “training video,” educating victims in how to perform for their “Johns.”

Pornography is used to “desensitize victims to the violence, degradation and humiliation” they may encounter. Victims may come to believe that such sexual encounters are “normal,” that everyone behaves this way, thus teaching resignation and acceptance of future abuse. Victims may be threatened with violence or deprivation unless they watch and learn the desired behaviors. [1]

#2 Pornography is used to advertise victims

Pimps create pornography using victims as a means of advertising “product.” These images are then uploaded on various internet sites or printed in flyers “as a means to entice buyers.” [2] Many innocents, demoralized through regular abuse or life alone on the streets, are forced to create pornographic videos or face additional violence.

Related: Pornography and Sex Trafficking – A Vicious Cycle

#3 Pornography increases demand for sex

As pornography addiction becomes more powerful, users “become more impulsive, making it more likely that they’ll give into their cravings.” [3] On the site stoptraffickingdemand.com, it states “…many victims of sex trafficking explain that Johns will sometimes bring porn with them and demand the victims reenact what they have seen in the film.” [4]

When pornography is viewed, it increases the demand for sex, the demand for sex, increases the need for “product.” As the need for product increases, so does the need for additional training and advertising of victims. As the number of willing prostitutes fails to meet the increasing demand, the demand for unwilling prostitutes is naturally multiplied. The regular viewing of pornography leads to harmful actions perpetrated by those who view and/or create pornography. And so the cycle of human sex-trafficking grows.

“. . . pornography, prostitution, and sex trafficking are not unrelated phenomena. Women are trafficked into the production of hardcore pornography, and hardcore pornography in particular may trigger and exacerbate sexual desires and pathologies that motivate men to seek out the services of prostituted women. This stimulation, in turn, contributes to the demand for women trafficked into prostitution. As Victor Malarek put it, ‘Pornography fuels prostitution, and prostitution fuels the sex trade.’”

-Peters, R., Lederer, L. & Kelly, S.[5]


Radio Programs

Haley Halverson joined Karen Bowling on air August 21 – 25, 2017 to discuss the work of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, the harms of pornography, it’s connection to human trafficking, and how we can protect our children.

The National Center on Sexual Exploitation

Pornography’s Link to Human Trafficking

Pornography’s Impact on Mental Health

The Dirty Dozen List Campaign

Protecting Children from Pornography


[1] “Pornography is Often Used By Traffickers as a Tool”; https://stoptraffickingdemand.com/training-tool/

[2] “Pornopraphy + Sex Trafficking”‘ National Center on Sexual Exploitation; https://stoptraffickingdemand.com/forced-acts-recorded/

[3] “Why Watching Porn is an Escalating Behavior”; August 8, 2014; https://fightthenewdrug.org/why-watching-porn-is-an-escalating-behavior/ ; Citation 18:  Mick, T. M. and Hollander, E. (2006). Impulsive-Compulsive Sexual Behavior. CNS Spectrums, 11(12):944-955.

[4]  “Pornography Is Often Used By Traffickers As A Tool”; https://stoptraffickingdemand.com/training-tool/

[5] “Pornography + Sex Trafficking”; National Center on Sexual Exploitation; https://endsexualexploitation.org/wp-content/uploads/Handout_Brochures_StopTraffickingDemand_08-25-2015_NCOSE-1.pdf; Peters, R., Lederer, L. & Kelly, S. (Fall 2012). The slave and the porn star: Sexual trafficking and pornography. The Protection Project:Journal of Human Rights and Civil Society, 5, 1-21.

 

Karen Bowling

Karen Bowling

Executive Director at Nebraska Family Alliance
When Karen isn't fulfilling her duties as the Executive Director of NFA, leading a women's Bible study, or coordinating a prayer meeting, she's usually with her four grand children that keep her busy, laughing, and young at heart.
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