In Landmark Ruling, Visa to be Held to Account for Monetizing Child Sexual Abuse On Pornhub

NCOSE Press Statement logo

WASHINGTON, DC (August 1, 2022) – The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) commended a judge’s ruling finding that a child sexual abuse survivor’s lawsuit against Visa for enabling her abuse to be monetized on Pornhub will be allowed to proceed.

“A child’s sexual abuse was posted to Pornhub, and in a landmark decision, a judge is allowing Visa to be sued for profiting from her abuse. Visa continued to process payments for Pornhub and other MindGeek-owned websites, even after it was aware of the widespread abuses occurring on Pornhub. It is right that Visa should be held responsible for its role in child sex trafficking on Pornhub,” said Dawn Hawkins, CEO of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation.

“We first brought evidence of child sexual abuse material and sex trafficking on Pornhub to Visa’s attention in early 2020. Despite the fact that Visa opened an investigation into Pornhub at NCOSE’s urging, it wasn’t until the New York Times published its December 2020 exposé revealing child sexual abuse material proliferates on the site that Visa finally acted to cut ties with Pornhub.

“Despite NCOSE continuing to send Visa details throughout 2021 and 2022 about child sexual abuse material, sex trafficking and other abuses by MindGeek – as well as offering to connect Visa with survivors – Visa reinstated its relationship with Pornhub’s parent company, MindGeek, and continues to process payments for other exploitative sites. Visa also processes advertisement purchases through MindGeek-owned TrafficJunky. Advertising is estimated to make up 50% of MindGeek’s revenue.

“The judge’s ruling is a significant victory for the child sexual abuse survivor, and it also opens the door for other survivors to receive justice for similar crimes. Let this serve as a warning to Visa and others in the financial services industry: you cannot enable and profit from child sexual abuse and sex trafficking without facing the full extent of the law,” Hawkins said.

NCOSE’s UK-based subsidiary, the International Centre on Sexual Exploitation, along with 62 survivors and advocates representing eleven countries, sent a March 2021 letter to Visa requesting it cut ties with all MindGeek-owned entities.

Visa is on the 2022 Dirty Dozen List of mainstream contributors to sexual exploitation.

About National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) 
Founded in 1962, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) is the leading national non-partisan organization exposing the links between all forms of sexual exploitation such as child sexual abuse, prostitution, sex trafficking and the public health harms of pornography. 



The Numbers

300+

NCOSE leads the Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation with over 300 member organizations.

100+

The National Center on Sexual Exploitation has had over 100 policy victories since 2010. Each victory promotes human dignity above exploitation.

93

NCOSE’s activism campaigns and victories have made headlines around the globe. Averaging 93 mentions per week by media outlets and shows such as Today, CNN, The New York Times, BBC News, USA Today, Fox News and more.

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