May 4, 2021

STATEMENT – New UK Survey Finds Sexual Violence Against Women and Girls is Common

NCOSE Says Sexual Violence in Mainstream Pornography Contributes to Culture of Violence Against Women

WASHINGTON, DC (May 4, 2021) – The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) is calling attention to a new survey of more than 22,000 UK women which found 51% reported being “woken up to their male partner having sex with them or performing sex acts on them whilst they are asleep.” UK-based VictimFocus, which conducted the survey, reported that it is the “largest and most comprehensive record of violence committed against women and girls in the UK.”

“Women are being preyed upon by their male partners while they are asleep and cannot give consent. Let’s call this what it is: rape. Despite #MeToo efforts to raise awareness of sexual assault, this survey confirms that rape has become a normative experience for women in the U.K. These results are horrifying and should shock everyone’s consciences,” said Dawn Hawkins, CEO of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation. 
 
The survey also found that “99.7% of their respondents had been repeatedly subjected to violence including assaults, harassment and rape,” and that “only 0.3% of women had only been subjected to one violent incident or less.” One of the study’s authors, Dr. Jessica Taylor, indicated that “the prevalence of this sort of scenario in violent pornography might also be a factor.”
 
“There’s no doubt that mainstream pornography today is a factor contributing to the sexual assault of women while they are unconscious as this is a theme on pornography websites today. Numerous women and girls have repeatedly requested that nonconsensual videos of their sexual abuse or rape be taken down from hardcore pornography websites like Pornhub and XVideos,” said Hawkins. 

“Online pornography is also rife with sexually violent themes and teaches users that women enjoy sexual violence and degradation. Another recent study found that sexual violence is a common script in mainstream online pornography, with one in eight titles on Pornhub, XHamster, and XVideos showing sexual violence to first time users.

“If we want this culture of sexual violence against women to end, we must confront the fact that pornography websites alter the sexual scripts of its users and stop them from operating with impunity,” Hawkins added.
 
In recent weeks, multiple lawsuits have been filed against Pornhub parent company, MindGeek, including a joint class action lawsuit filed against MindGeek by the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) and other law firms. NCOSE filed a joint class action lawsuit against XVideos on behalf of a child sexual abuse survivor whose images were published and monetized by this online international pornography company. 

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.

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