Commentary

A Harrowing Look at Child Sex Trafficking Boosted by Porn Sites

By Hannah Harrison | March 12, 2020 | 4:05pm EDT
A Pornhub logo is displayed at the company's booth during the 2018 AVN Adult Expo at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. (Photo credit: Gabe Ginsberg/FilmMagic)
A Pornhub logo is displayed at the company's booth during the 2018 AVN Adult Expo at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. (Photo credit: Gabe Ginsberg/FilmMagic)

For years, there has been a lack of awareness of the true horrors within the sex industry.

For the first time in a long time, people are beginning to see that everything isn’t exactly as it seems. One of those realizations is that pornography performers aren’t always participating by choice. Rather, some are forced, coerced, manipulated, and even unwillingly thrown into this dark industry.

This truth is often hard to combat in our current cultural climate. Many actors, singers, and Hollywood elitists glamorize sex work, making it appear to be a “well-paying job.” In reality, it is a devastating lifestyle that leaves people broken, ashamed, and afraid.

In the past few months, many states have recognized the sad reality concerning the porn industry and have declared pornography a public health crisis. While this is encouraging, the porn sites themselves continue posting content of children being raped, abused, and victimized, all while raking in the profits.



 

Last month, the BBC reported the case of Rose Kalemba. Rose was brutally attacked and raped at the age of 14. Little did she know, her abuse was filmed and posted on one of the most-viewed porn sites on the internet.  It wasn’t until her classmates found the video of her assault with titles like “teen getting destroyed” that she became aware.

One of the videos was viewed more than 400,000 times, Rose said.

"The worst videos were the ones where I was passed out," she said. "Seeing myself being attacked where I wasn't even conscious was the worst."

Upon finding the videos, she contacted the site to remove them for six months. However, until legal action was taken, the video remained online.

The porn company claims it was visited 42 billion times last year, receiving 115 million visits daily while facilitating 1,200 searches per second. With such a large viewership, there is no doubt that other boys and girls are also at risk.

Meanwhile, the site has no method to screen content. There is no age-verification technology or precautionary measures in place to keep children from viewing or being victims of pornography.  Our children are not safe as long as sites like these exist.

Laila Mickelwait, the founder of Exodus Cry, an anti-prostitution organization, has compiled extensive research on the issue. She recently discovered the story of a 15-year-old girl who had been trafficked but found. However, before she was found, there had already been 58 porn videos of the child being sexually abused and raped, which appeared on the same site as did the ones depicting Rose.

The idea that someone would watch a child being molested is beyond my mental capability. The fact that executives are profiting off of these poor children engulfs me with anger. But many viewers feel as though the porn industry is a lifestyle choice someone makes which means that they aren’t “hurting” anyone by viewing the material.

First of all, no child under the age of 18 makes the “choice” to enter the porn industry and until someone is held accountable for the sites posting such content, innocent children will be hurt.

After years and countless victims, the winds of change are starting to blow. Some are finally starting to see the connection between pornography and human trafficking, abuse, and rape.

Sex-trafficking victim Jewell Baraka was trafficked into the porn industry by her father at the age of 11. She was abused, filmed, and prostituted for six years. Jewell is encouraged by the new push towards connecting trafficking and pornography and she believes it will be eye-opening for those who have suffered in either lifestyle.

“This is the moment that justice begins for countless girls like me who were trafficked in porn," she said. "Finally, we can say that we were trafficked in porn, finally, people will understand."

Enough is enough. It’s time to start defending these poor children, no matter the effort it takes. 

Through her website TraffickingHub, Mickelwait has started a petition calling on the government to shut down one of the largest porn sites aiding abuse and human trafficking. At the time this was written, the petition has more than 450,000 signatures.  

“I believe that the public is starting to connect the dots between pornography and sex trafficking," Mickelwait said. "If there is enough pressure on our politicians and legal action, these companies and the executives that run them are going to be held to account for their crimes and brought to justice.”

Hannah Harrison writes content for American Family Association's Journal.

Editor's Note: This piece was originally published by the American Family Association.



 

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