Over 200 Survivors Call on Congress to Support PROTECT Act

NCOSE Press Statement logo

Notable Signatories Include Actors Terry Crews and Whitney Cummings

Washington, DC (October 4, 2022) – The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) said that Congress must listen to the over 200 survivors of image-based sexual abuse that have signed a letter urging passage of the PROTECT Act (S 4991), that for the first time, would ensure federal law protects victims of image-based sexual abuse from websites monetizing and distributing their abuse. 

Led by three survivors, Uldouz Wallace, Katelynn Spencer, and Victoria Galey, the letter has attracted notable signatories including actors Terry Crews, Whitney Cummings, Joseph Lee Anderson, and Marisol Nichols, and Mexican activist Olimpia Coral Melo Cruz. 

The PROTECT Act (Preventing Rampant Online Technological Exploitation and Criminal Trafficking) gives significant power to any person depicted in sexually explicit videos/images to have those recordings removed and obtain damages for any harm their distribution caused. It also requires “covered platforms” to obtain independent age verification for anyone who uploads content. 

“The growing and wide-ranging support for the PROTECT Act is easy to understand when, in an instant, anyone can become a victim of image-based sexual abuse. When child sexual abuse, rape, sex trafficking, or prostitution is filmed and circulated without the permission of those depicted—or when videos made by hidden cameras, deep fake images, or leaked photos are uploaded without consent—survivors have no rights under federal law to get this material removed. We urge Congress to listen to survivors and pass the revolutionary PROTECT Act,” said Dawn Hawkins, CEO of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation.

“Technology is updating every day, but the laws haven’t changed. We need the PROTECT Act because it will protect the future of our children, women, men and ensure that the internet is a safer environment,” said Uldouz Wallace, Actress, Survivor. 

“When I found out there have been two sexual videos of me posted on Pornhub and other pornography websites for the past 12 years, not once did I feel protected by the law. There are no laws in my state to protect survivors of image-based sexual abuse, but if this bill is put in place, it could help so many survivors like me,” said Katelynn Spencer, Survivor Leader. 

“Online criminal enterprises have been allowed to flourish unregulated for over a decade. Technology has surpassed the reach of our current laws. The internet and technology have become weapons in digital violence. We desperately need a federal law to protect victims against online image-based sexual abuse including edited and deepfake content. The PROTECT Act would provide this protection. Similar laws have already been passed in other countries and the U.S. is falling behind,” said Victoria Galy, Survivor, Paralegal, Mother.

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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