September 29, 2016

STATEMENT: Summit to End Sexual Exploitation Begins Today in Houston

International Experts, Local Advocates Unite to Fight Sex Trafficking, Pornography, and Sexual Violence


Houston, TX – The Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation (CESE) Summit is taking place at the Omni Houston Hotel Westside in Houston, Texas, Sept. 29 – Oct. 1. The event is hosted by the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE). Several hundred attendees are coming together from approximately 30 states, and at least five different countries.

“The movement to end sexual exploitation is gathering in Houston,” said Dawn Hawkins, Executive Director of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation. “Tragically, sexual exploitation impacts every community in America, from pornography, to sex trafficking, sexual violence, child sexual abuse, and more. The Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation (CESE) Summit provides a cohesive and comprehensive platform for addressing the full spectrum of these and other sexual harms.”

“The theme of the 2016 CESE Summit is ‘Exposing the Seamless Connections between All Forms of Sexual Exploitation,’” Hawkins continued. “Most advocates rightly specialize and focus on one issue. However, it’s also invaluable to take a step back and get a panoramic view of the entire complex problem of sexual exploitation. For example, we recognize that pornography plays a role in increasing the demand for sex trafficking, and that pornography is linked to increases in sexual violence. We also know that child sexual abuse often predates an individual’s entry into prostitution, and that sexting makes many adolescents vulnerable to revenge porn or sexual extortion. The CESE Summit is the place we make these connections, and learn how diverse disciplines can work together to create a stronger movement.”

“Texas was chosen as the location for the CESE Summit this year because while sexual exploitation is an overwhelming problem nationwide, there is a strong presence of organizations and individuals in Texas who are working to defend human dignity. The CESE Summit is an opportunity for these good social actors to unite and collaborate regionally, as well as to connect with national and international organizations that can help strengthen and support their efforts,” Hawkins concluded.

WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE SUMMIT:

Topics to be addressed include:

  • Sex Trafficking
  • Prostitution
  • Child Sexual Abuse
  • Public Health Impacts of Pornography
  • Sexual Violence
  • Sexting
  • Sexualized Media
  • Campus Sexual Assault
  • Sexually Oriented Businesses
  • Street Gangs and Sexual Exploitation

With more than 40 distinguished speakers, highlights include:

“Human Trafficking in Houston: A Collaborative Approach” – Misa Nguyen, United Against Human Trafficking.

Understanding the Public Health Impacts of Pornography – Various academic and public health experts will present on this topic and how it relates to the continuum of sexual exploitation.

Nancy Jo Sales, award-winning journalist and New York Times best-selling author, will speak at the Thursday night banquet concerning her book American Girls: Social Media and the Secret Lives of Teenagers and the impact of technology, sexting, and objectification on the lives of America’s youth.

Ed Smart, activist and father of kidnapping survivor Elizabeth Smart, will speak at the Friday night dinner about the necessity of combating all forms of sexual exploitation.

“Extrication from Exploitation: Empowering Emancipation” – Karen Countryman-Roswurm, Wichita State Center for Combating Human Trafficking, a survivor-led, survivor-operated anti-exploitation organization.

“Influencing the Private Sector: How Corporations are Rejecting Exploitation” – Dawn Hawkins, National Center on Sexual Exploitation, will review policy victories against pornography at Google, the Department of Defense, Hilton Worldwide, and more.

There will also be continued education training credits available for Texas law enforcement. At least 30 Houston-area police will attend in order to receive powerful training on sexual violence prevention, innovative collaboration opportunities with non-profits, and coordinated efforts to combat sex trafficking at the 2017 Super Bowl.

National Center on Sexual Exploitation

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

Further Reading