July 21, 2016

STATEMENT: TEXXXAS Porn Expo Raises Concerns About Uptick in Sex Trafficking

Statement by Dawn Hawkins, Executive Director of NCOSE


Washington, DC – The TEXXXAS pornography expo is being held at the Hilton Houston Galleria Area Hotel in Houston, August 17-20. The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) warns that this event will facilitate sexual exploitation.

“Anyone who cares about ending sex trafficking needs to be on high alert about the upcoming TEXXXAS pornography expo,” said Dawn Hawkins, Executive Director of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation. “This event will attract a largely male audience that is desensitized to exchanging money for sexual experiences. Therefore, we expect an uptick in the demand for prostitution, and ergo sex trafficking, of women and children in the area.”

“The grim reality is that there are inescapable ties between pornography and sex trafficking,” Hawkins continued. “Pornography consumption is linked to an increased demand for sex trafficking and other forms of commercial sexual exploitation. Further, many former performers have reported prevalent coercion, abuse, and coercive prostitution within the pornography industry itself.”

“It is also important to note that hotels are a primary location where sex trafficking transactions occur. This is because they provide convenience, relative anonymity, as well as temporary, private accommodations. Polaris’ ‘2015 Statistics’ from its National Human Trafficking Resource Center indicate that hotels rank second among the top venues for sex trafficking. The TEXXXAS event will unfortunately be held at a Hilton hotel.”

“Last year, Hilton Worldwide adopted a policy to no longer sell on-demand pornography due to the brand’s desire to provide guests with a safe and sexploitation-free environment,” Hawkins stated. “While that was a good step forward, I am disappointed in Hilton’s inconsistent approach to these issues, and I hope they will resolve to stop facilitating organized sexual exploitation in order to prevent any increase in sex trafficking on their property, and to protect the safety and wellbeing of their employees and guests. I encourage concerned Texas residents to contact Hilton to request that they cancel their contract with the Texxxas pornography expo. Texas residents can also attend the Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation (CESE) Summit, September 29-October 1, which will serve as the antithesis of the TEXXXAS expo. At the CESE Summit, there will be training, education, and strategy on ways to combat sexual exploitation and to defend human dignity.”

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