On Racism and Sexual Exploitation

Racism is everywhere in sexual exploitation.

Pornography is rife with racist material that celebrates the degradation of black women, men, and children. Commercial sex buyers are predominantly white men while victims of sex trafficking are disproportionately women and girls of color. Predators prey upon the people society has marginalized, which means minority communities are a prime target. The list goes on.

Addressing sexual exploitation means addressing racism and the systems that allow oppression and marginalization to continue.

We encourage people to combat racism and sexual exploitation by listening to, supporting, and working alongside powerful advocates and organizations who have long been leading with their words and with their actions.

The National Center on Sexual Exploitation’s mission is to defend human dignity. We stand with all victims of sexual exploitation and strongly believe that, as a part of the much-needed national conversation about and action against racism, it is crucial to address the racism inherent in systems of exploitation such as pornography, prostitution, and human trafficking.

We implore you to review the information and resources below to begin to learn more about the intersection of racism and sexual exploitation. There is much hard work still ahead. As we have always done, we will continue to raise these points throughout our projects and campaigns.

Documentary: Let Me Tell Ya’ll ‘Bout Black Chicks: Images of Black Women in Pornography

Screen Shot of still for Dr. Carolyn West's documentary film, "Let Me Tell Y'all 'bout Black Chicks: Images of Black Women in Pornography"

Dr. Carolyn West’s research and advocacy have been immensely helpful to us and the whole movement to end sexual exploitation. She has turned her research into a powerful documentary about the extreme racism in mainstream pornography. You can watch the trailer and find some her research at her website here. You’ll be able to watch the full documentary at the Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation Global Online Summit this July, so make sure to register now.

Rights4Girls Addressing the Issues Surrounding Sexual Abuse to Prison Pipeline


“When girls with economic stability are hurt by sexual violence, the protective layers of functional schools, safe neighborhoods, and access to mental health services tend to buffer them from further victimization. For marginalized girls and young women, the experience of sexual abuse too often lands them behind bars. In fact, sexual abuse is a primary predictor for justice involvement in girls…” Read more on their website here.

PRESENTATION: “Race, Poverty, Homelessness: A Structural Violence Analysis of Prostitution” ~ Marian Hatcher, Cook County Sheriff’s Office


The Numbers


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


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


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.



Survivor Lawsuit Against Twitter Moves to Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

Survivors’ $12.7M Victory Over Explicit Website a Beacon of Hope for Other Survivors

Instagram Makes Positive Safety Changes via Improved Reporting and Direct Message Tools

Sharing experiences may be a restorative and liberating process. This is a place for those who want to express their story.

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