Why focus on combatting the demand for prostitution (ie. Sex buying)? Is combatting demand an effective way to reduce sex trafficking? Is it affordable and accessible for law enforcement? What kind of tactics and strategies can be used to deter sex buyers? How does full decriminalization of prostitution affect demand reduction efforts?
These are some of the questions explored by the experts on Demand who join the Ending Sexploitation podcast for this episode. These experts include Marian Hatcher of the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, who has worked on countless law enforcement initiatives targeting demand; Jamey Caruthers, the Director of Demand Reduction and Policy at Street Grace; and Dr. Michael Shively, long-time researcher on Demand and Senior Advisor on Research & Data Analysis at NCOSE.
Peter Gentala, Senior Legal Counsel at the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, joins the Ending Sexploitation podcast to discuss the issue of holding social media platforms legally accountable for facilitating sexual exploitation. Gentala addresses both the particular challenges in this space as well as the unprecedented progress that has occurred over the past year.
Gentala explains how American Law has been interpreted as granting internet platforms blanket immunity for third-party content, under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. As such, it has historically been exceptionally difficult to hold social media companies accountable for the role they play in recklessly distributing sexually exploitative content. However, thanks to the brave voices of survivors and the collective efforts of law firms, advocates, journalists, and more, groundbreaking progress has been made. Gentala speaks to the milestones that have been reached in the past year, sharing a message of hope and inspiration.
Ambassador Swanee Hunt, Chair and Founder of Hunt Alternatives and Eleanor Roosevelt Lecturer of Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government joins the Ending Sexploitation podcast to discuss the importance of combating demand for commercial sexual exploitation.
During the discussion, Ambassador Hunt shared the story of speaking to survivors of commercial sexual exploitation internationally. She recalled the chilling story of a young woman in Europe who told her, “Our girls are disappearing from our villages.” Over time, Ambassador Hunt began researching why so many women and girls were being exploited and bought for sex.
In addition to enabling research and trainings on demand (aka sex buying behavior), Ambassador Hunt went on to help establish the Cities Empowered Against Sexual Exploitation (CEASE Network) which spearhead cutting edge tactics to identify the best policies and practices for reducing demand at a local level.
Kindsey Pentecost, Chief Marketing Officer of ItWorks, an industry leading beauty and nutrition company), and Founder of Turn Your Life Around (TYLA), a Prostitution Diversion Court joins the podcast to share about her experiences collaborating with and training law enforcement and court systems on sex trafficking.
“Especially in the United States, we really treat victims [of sex trafficking] as if it’s their job to identify as a victim and tell us that they’re a victim, and that just doesn’t work with sex trafficking,” Kindsey shared. In this episode, she explains how sex traffickers groom victims, establishing bonds so strong that many victims don’t have the ability to identify themselves for law enforcement.
Reflecting on her years of experience working closely with the criminal justice system, Kindsey describes how vital it is for law enforcement and the courts to be accurately trained on the dynamics of sex trafficking in order to better serve survivors.
She also shares about her work in Florida to shift law enforcement resources and time away from arresting people sold in the sex trade, bringing in agencies to provide diverse services to help survivors recover, and instead to focus law enforcement on arresting sex buyers and traffickers.
Kindsey Pentecost’s advice to listeners is to focus on prevention by investing in the next generation, discussing the realities of grooming and abuse with them in age-appropriate ways to safeguard them from potential exploiters.
Visit https://www.kindseypentecost.com/purpose to find resources to learn more and take action, including a parent guide and list of must-read books.
In the face of an explosion of child sexual abuse material (CSAM, aka child pornography) being distributed and consumed online, the EARN IT Act holds technology companies accountable if they aid and abet the distribution and/or consumption of child sexual abuse material.
This episode is a chance to listen in to the February 8th, 2022, EARN IT Act virtual congressional briefing.
The EARN IT Act is the most important child protection legislation pending before Congress in 2022. It does four main things:
Here’s what the bill does not do:
You can watch a video of the event here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MAItN4LicJo
Learn more and take action: https://endsexualexploitation.org/earnit/
Kristen Jenson, founder of Defend Young Minds, shares about the necessity of teaching children “Digital Defense Skills” for online safety and preventing/defending against exposure to online pornography.
Kristen speaks to the necessity of talking to kids about the harms of viewing pornography early, and educates on strategies to do so in a comfortable and age appropriate way. Kristen has developed popular resources for talking to children as young as 3 years old, such as the book Good Pictures Bad Pictures Junior. We encourage you to see Kristen Jensen’s valuable resources here.
Some resources specifically mentioned on this episode include:
Dawn Hawkins, CEO of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, joins the Ending Sexploitation podcast to discuss the history of the organization and its vision for the future. The discussion includes the need for a bipartisan and diverse movement that addresses the full spectrum of sexual abuse and exploitation issues. Dawn Hawkins emphasizes the need to address not only sex trafficking and child sexual abuse, but also more controversial issues like pornography and prostitution which are sexually exploitive in and of themselves and which feed into more kinds of harm. She addresses the cultural confusion about if prostitution and pornography can be considered legitimate jobs, and if systems can be set up which ensure they are ethical, or if they are inherently harmful.
EndSexualExploitation.org | DirtyDozenList.com | SexploitationLawsuits.com
In this interview, Haley McNamara (VP at the National Center on Sexual Exploitation) speaks with Julie Inman Grant who shares about the genesis of the Australian eSafety Commission, and the importance of corporate and technological accountability for safety online.
She also discusses Safety By Design principles, and the importance of pursuing age verification for consumers of pornography. She also lays out helpful advice to advocates looking to expand these concepts in their own countries.
You can learn more about the Australian eSafety Commission here: https://www.esafety.gov.au/
If you or someone you know has been a victim of non-consensually shared intimate materials, reach out to support networks:
Alvin W. Amadu has over 18 years of working on anti-exploitation in Africa. He’s currently the Program Manager at the African Network for the Prevention and Protection against Child Abuse and Neglect (ANPPCAN) Liberia. He is a 2019/2020 Humphrey Fullbright Fellow sponsored by the United States Department of State – and he also worked as a Fellow with us in Washington DC at the National Center on Sexual Exploitation at that time.
In this podcast, Alvin shares about the cultural and economic contexts in Liberia that increase children’s vulnerability to sexual abuse or sex trafficking. He also shares how child marriage is a global problem, and why it must be recognized as a form of sexual abuse. In the end he shares key principles of prevention that people around the world can apply in order to better safeguard children.
Learn more about Alvin's organization here: http://www.anppcan.org/
Dr. Stephany Powell joins the podcast to share about her unique insight into the world of sexual exploitation and trafficking gained through her thirty years with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), coupled with her time serving survivors and advocating for vital policy reforms.
She addresses law enforcement perspectives on identifying and investigating sex trafficking cases, and misunderstandings that can hinder them. Dr. Powell recently contributed to a book titled “Teaching Beautiful Brilliant Black Girls.” Her chapter addressed myths around the commercial sexual exploitation of African American girls, and she elaborates on these themes in her podcast.
Child sexual abuse materials (or CSAM, aka child pornography) has surged over 106% during COVID according to the National Center on Missing and Exploited Children. And tragically, CSAM isn't only happening on the Dark Web - it's also flourishing on mainstream social media platforms like Twitter.
Survivor John Doe was only 16 when he discovered exploitative child sexual abuse materials of himself at age 13 were posted on Twitter. The video managed to accrue over 160,000 views before Twitter finally took it down—despite multiple reports from both John Doe and his mother verifying his status as a minor.
Lisa Habba, Esq. and Peter Gentala, Esq. joined this episode of the Ending Sexploitation podcast to share the story of John Doe, and another male survivor, who are suing Twitter for facilitating their child sexual abuse materials.
The discussion includes the legal challenges of the case and why Twitter assumes it should be immune from any liability, despite fostering an environment that appears to allow child sexual abuse materials to flourish.
Learn more about this case and help spread the word on how Twitter is complicit with the distribution of child sexual abuse material (CSAM.)
Since the 2007 movie Lars and the Real Girl, sex dolls have become increasingly popular and normalized. In fact, mainstream companies like Amazon, Etsy, and the Wish shopping app have sold sex dolls, including ones that looked child-like.
During this episode of the Ending Sexploitation podcast, Haley McNamara interviews Caitlin Roper, PhD candidate, and Campaigns Manager at Collective Shout.
They discuss the rising trends of sex dolls being made to look like children or people the buyer knows in real life, and the way sex dolls are not an answer to loneliness or pedophilia. In fact, they discuss research that shows how child sex abuse dolls normalize and encourage sexual interest in children.
Connect with Collective Shout and engage in their campaigns: https://www.collectiveshout.org/
Follow Caitlin Roper on Twitter: https://twitter.com/caitlin_roper
Contact Etsy on Twitter and tell them to stop selling sex dolls: https://twitter.com/Etsy
Did you know that mainstream companies you interact with every day may be facilitating sexual exploitation, or leaving children vulnerable to abuse or graphic content?
During this episode of the Ending Sexploitation podcast, Haley McNamara interviews Lina Nealon, Director of Corporate and Strategic Initiatives at the National Center on Sexual Exploitation.
They discuss mainstream corporations that are facilitating sexual exploitation and abuse, including problems with Google Chrombooks that leave children vulnerable during online learning, how Amazon facilitates incest-themed merchandise, how the Wish Shopping app sells exploitive merchandise and buys ads on pornography websites, the rise of the OnlyFans sexual exploitation marketplace, and more.
Learn more and contact companies facilitating sexual exploitation at dirtydozenlist.com
You can specifically take action on Google Chromebooks here: https://endsexualexploitation.org/chromebooks
You can specifically take action on Amazon here: https://endsexualexploitation.org/amazon
You can specifically take action on Wish here: https://endsexualexploitation.org/wish
You can specifically take action on OnlyFans here: https://endsexualexploitation.org/onlyfans
The Dirty Dozen List is an annual campaign calling out twelve mainstream entities for facilitating or profiting from sexual abuse and exploitation. Since its inception in 2013, the Dirty Dozen List has galvanized thousands of individuals like YOU to call on corporations, government agencies, and organizations to change specific policies to instead promote human dignity. This campaign has yielded major victories, including significant changes at Google, Netflix, TikTok, Hilton Worldwide, Verizon, Walmart, US Department of Defense, and many more.
Entities such as strip clubs, massage parlors, brothels, and pornography production companies exist around the world and are commonly referred to using innocuous terms such as “sex trade,” “sex sector,” and “commercial sex industry.” However, what these entities really constitute is a global supply chain of organized sexual exploitation.
Lisa Thompson, Vice President of Policy and Research at the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, analyzes this complex supply chain.
This presentation was recorded at the National Center on Sexual Exploitation's national briefing in the U.S. Capitol building, entitled "The Freedom from Sexploitation Agenda."
To learn more about the agenda, and to see more videos from the event, visit: endsexualexploitation.org/freedomagenda/
Strip clubs are often seen as a harmless form of entertainment for men. And. While they are certainly everywhere from the sides of interstates to the heart of our nation’s capital, and pull patrons from all walks of life, some of strip club’s most routine patrons include military personnel. In fact, military bases are often surrounded by strip clubs in their area, and we’ve seen that they often have special ads and discounts specifically targeting individuals serving in the military. How is this a problem?
Well, not only do strip clubs themselves feed into harmful sexual entitlement and often recruit from women with trauma and socioeconomic difficulties but also we see that strip clubs are inherently linked to prostitution and sex trafficking. So how should the military respond to this link?
That’s what Dan O’Bryant will be discussing with us today. Dan served as a Judge Advocate General (JAG) in the United States Air Force, serving as a prosecutor then later as an Area Defense Counsel. He was a Law Professor at the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs and a 2015-16 Fellow at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University. He is also a board member at the National Center on Sexual Exploitation.
This presentation was given at the National Center on Sexual Exploitation's briefing in the U.S. Capitol entitled "The Freedom from Sexploitation Agenda."
To learn more, visit: endsexualexploitation.org/freedomagenda/
Reach out to email@example.com if you or someone you know is linked with the military and has a story or strategy for this issue. Anonymous or with full attribution.
Volunteer to help individuals in the sex industry:
Special guest Dr. John Foubert addresses an innovative program on college campuses.
Dr. John Foubert is the national president of One in Four, professor at Oklahoma State University author of several books including most recently How Pornography Harms.
One In Four is a national nonprofit dedicated to sexual assault prevention, focusing on college campuses and military bases. This organization conducts prevention presentations to teach men and women alike about the harms of rape. Research shows that these programs lead to a 40% decline in sexual assault behavior by male participants, and that it increases bystander intervention among women.
Dr. Foubert explains the success of this program, and some of the root influences that make such preventative programs necessary to combat false beliefs about rape and sexual assault.
Call to Action:
Read Dr. Foubert's Book: How Pornography Harms
Connect with One in Four: OneInFourUSA.org
Learn more: www.johnfoubert.com
The unspoken truth is that Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Issue is not a triumph of female athleticism, agency, or empowerment. Instead, it is a descent into sexual objectification.
Research sows that when someone is being objectified the objectifier is viewing them as if they do not possess a real, individual mind and as if they are less deserving of moral treatment. Some claim that these experiences are “likely to contribute to mental health problems that disproportionately affect women (i.e., eating disorders, depression, and sexual dysfunction.)" 
Objectification also impacts men, as shown by the fact that sexual objectification occurs in 37% of advertisements featuring men's body parts to showcase a product.
But why is it that so many people actively participate in objectification culture? This podcast will discuss the phenomenon of self-objectification, and why it is ultimately not empowering.
CALL TO ACTION:
Email Barnes & Noble executives to ask them to remove Playboy magazine from their shelves.
The London Abused Women’s Centre, Canada; Collective Shout, Australia; Culture Reframed, USA; and The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE), USA have partnered to raise awareness that Fifty Shades of Grey - and it's latest film installment Fifty Shades Darker - normalizes domestic violence.
The Fifty Shades trilogy follows wealthy and powerful businessman Christian Grey as he meets Anastasia Steele, a virginal college student lacking confidence, and woos her into his BDSM (sexual sadism or torture sex) world and “red room of pain.”
The relationship maps onto what would be considered an abusive relationship rife domestic violence in the real world. Christian puts Ana under contract to serve as a sexual “submissive” and uses intimidation, coercion, humiliation, violence, stalking, manipulation, jealousy and other controlling behaviors to groom Ana and keep her under his domination. Ana is consistently isolated, threatened, and manipulated, yet she comes back to Christian time and time again because she thinks her love can change him. As the story progresses, Ana, who was first fearful and disturbed by Christian’s controlling behaviors and dark sexual practices, gradually becomes desensitized to his harsh treatment. These are hallmarks of abusive relationships.
You can read examples of domestic abuse in the Fifty Shades book here.
The mainstreaming of this book also sends the message to women that they can “fix” violent, controlling men by being obedient and loving.
Call to Action:
1) Sign this pledge to boycott the film.
2) Donate to a women's shelter instead of visiting the film through DomesticShelters.org.
3) Share graphics and learn more at FiftyShadesIsAbuse.com.
Amazon’s online market is being used to facilitate sexual exploitation and predation.
Not only does Amazon.com feature thousands of pornography-related items in numerous categories, but it is facilitating the sale and distribution of sexually explicit material that normalizes and encourages the objectification and exploitation of women and children.
I'm especially shocked that Amazon.com is selling books featuring photography collections of eroticized child nudity by Jock Sturges and David Hamilton. These publications contain numerous images that many, including experts on child sexual exploitation, consider child pornography. These are not images reminiscent of a family photo album of children at bath time. These images are haunting displays of provocative child nudity, of prepubescent and adolescent children—many of which display their pubic areas or genitals.
If a man in your neighborhood took these pictures of your child, you would not call them ‘art.’ You would call the police.
Further, Amazon.com sells child-like sex dolls and clothing that pornifies women and infants, and books that are essentially sex trafficking “how-to” manuals.
Action: visit http://endsexualexploitation.org/amazon/. Here you can email executives to ask them to remove this exploitive content and learn more. There is also a proof portion on this page to validate our findings.
A surprising number of public libraries do not have pornography filtering software and a much larger number employ ineffective filtering software that children and adults are bypassing to gain access to all kinds of pornography while at the local library.
This leads to problems not only for the health of individuals using pornography, but also to problems of child pornography use and unintentional childhood exposure to pornography.
A few years ago we started getting calls from concerned parents who shared that librarians were refusing to filter out pornography from library computers and Internet because the American Library Association is informing libraries that it's against the First Amendment.
However, the Supreme Court ruled that libraries DO have the right to filter out pornography. Despite losing this battle in the courts, the ALA continues to disseminate misleading information to libraries about their responsibility to keep computers completely “free and unfettered”.
The American Library Association is refusing to take action.
But YOU can.
Through our Safe Schools, Safe Libraries project, you can download the “Getting Started” packet that explains, from start to finish, how you can get effective filtering in libraries and schools. Several communities have succeeded with this project!
You can also learn more about the American Library Association, and why it facilitates pornography, here: http://endsexualexploitation.org/ala
The National White Ribbon Against Pornography (WRAP) Week brings together hundreds of national, state and local groups, along with driven concerned citizens in a massive effort to educate the public on the harms from pornography and the many resources available to aid those affected. National WRAP Week always starts the last Sunday of October.
Episode #4. Research is showing that pornography is linked to increases in sexual violence.
Pornography shapes the user’s sexual template around themes of degradation, ambiguous consent, and violence.
Cognitive Script Theory reveals that media provide a heuristic learning model outlining:
2) how people should or should not behave in response to what is or is not happening;
3) what the outcomes of a particular course of action should be.
Pornography becomes a script to navigate real-world sexual experiences. It can serve as a template for actual sexual behavior.
Pornography teaches that women enjoy sexual violence:
Analysis of the 50 most popular pornographic videos (those bought and rented most often) found that 88% of scenes contained physical violence, and 49% contained verbal aggression.1
Pornography is linked to increased verbal and physical aggression:
A 2015 meta-analysis of 22 studies from seven countries found that internationally the consumption of pornography was significantly associated with increases in verbal and physical aggression, among males and females alike.2
Surveyed college fraternity men who used “mainstream” pornography expressed greater intent to commit rape, should they be assured they wouldn’t get caught.3
A meta-analysis of 46 studies reported that the effects of exposure to pornographic material are “clear and consistent,” and puts one at increased risk for committing sexual offenses and accepting rape myths.
If we are serious about combatting sexual violence, we must commit to addressing the harms of pornography.
To learn more, visit: http://endsexualexploitation.org/violence/
1. (Ana J. Bridges, Robert Wosnitzer, Erica Scharrer, Chyng Sun, and Rachael Liberman, “Aggression and Sexual Behavior in Best-Selling Pornography Videos: A Content Analysis Update,” Violence against Women 16, no. 10 (2010): 1065–1085.)
2. Paul J. Wright, Robert S. Tokunaga, and Ashley Kraus, “A Meta-Analysis of Pornography Consumption and Actual Acts of Sexual Aggression in General Population Studies,” Journal of Communication 66, no. 1 (February 2016): 183–205.
3. Foubert, John D., Matthew Brosi W., and R. Bannon Sean. "Pornography Viewing among Fraternity Men: Effects on Bystander Intervention, Rape Myth Acceptance and Behavioral Intent to Commit Sexual Assault." Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity 18.4 (2011): 212-31. Web.
4. Elizabeth Paolucci-Oddone, Mark Genuis, and Claudio Violato, “A Meta-Analysis of the Published Research on the Effects of Pornography,” The Changing Family and Child Development, ed. Claudio Violato, Elizabeth Paolucci, and Mark Genuis (Aldershot, England: Ashgate Publishing, 2000), 48–59.
This is podcast episode #1, thank you so much for tuning in! Maybe you’re listening because you’re familiar with our organization, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, or maybe you just clicked on it because of the catchy name. Either way, I’m glad you’re here!
Today I’m going to give you a quick tour of what we’re about and what you can expect to gain from this podcast. We’re gonna get you the information and practical tips you need to combat sexual exploitation.
What is sexual exploitation? In a broad (and incomplete) sense, it’s any situation where someone is being used - for another’s sexual pleasure - in a way that lacks consent, or is demeaning or harmful. That means we’ll be talking about sex trafficking, prostitution, pornography, rape culture, campus sexual assault, and more.
Unfortunately, this issue is prevalent in our culture today -- we are constantly hearing questions like “does the super bowl really cause sex trafficking?” and “is prostitution a job like any other?” and “is porn actually linked to increased sexual violence?”
We’re going to talk with experts every week about these topics that are happening around us every day - and even better, we’re going to give you a clear action step you can take at the end of every podcast episode. Sometimes the world can be a depressing place - but we are seeing so much hope, and so many prominent victories in the movement against sexual exploitation, and I want to give you the tools to join in, and make a difference.
To tell you a little more about me, I work at the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (or NCOSE), a non-profit located in Washington DC that works to address the links between all forms of sexual exploitation. You’ll hear a lot about NCOSE because most weeks I’ll be joined by a colleague from this organization who will help me answer the big questions.
NCOSE was founded in 1962, and it embraces a mission to defend human dignity and to advocate for the universal right of sexual justice, which is freedom from sexual exploitation, objectification, and violence.
All you need to know now, is that NCOSE does three things 1) public education 2) coalition leadership of around 300 organizations and experts and 3) changes corporate or governmental policies that facilitate sexual exploitation. Last year, in fact, we changed 15 corporate policies at places like Google, Hilton Worldwide, and Overstock.com.
I got into this work because I’m really passionate about human rights, and about getting people like you involved in this fight. I remember when I was in college the topic of “sex trafficking” was really “hip” for lack of a better word. Everyone I knew was talking about it, but nobody knew what they could do to actually make a difference. And now that I’ve found so many ways one individual can have an impact - I’m excited to share!
Anyway, thank you so much for listening and joining us in this movement. Make sure to check out our website: endsexualexploitation.org to learn more about what the National Center on Sexual Exploitation does, and be sure to tune in for our next podcast where we’re going to answer the question: is porn causing a public health crisis?
If you have any questions you want us to address during our podcasts, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you again for all of you who have listened - this has been the Sexploitation podcast. Have a great week.