Survivors’ $12.7M Victory Over Explicit Website a Beacon of Hope for Other Survivors
A civil lawsuit against GirlsDoPorn, brought forward by 22 women to expose the manipulation and outright fraud committed by the porn company, has reached its conclusion as a Superior Court judge ruled in favor of the plaintiffs on January 2, 2020—awarding them $12.7M in damages.
Federal criminal charges of sex trafficking have also been filed.
“The abuse and exploitation these women suffered is disturbing and tragic, but not an anomaly,” said Benjamin Bull, Director of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation Law Center. “No amount of money can account for the damage caused by GirlsDoPorn, but this trailblazing lawsuit cuts a path that can now be followed by advocates for other survivors of horrific abuses inflicted by the pornography industry. We can say with certainty that there will be dozens of copycat lawsuits on the heels of this victory and that is a very good thing. The lawsuit also has immense value in shining the light of public scrutiny on what is a common place practice of abusing young women by pornography companies.”
Despite the allegations of sex trafficking brought forward by the 22 women and their attorneys, popular pornography websites left the videos up for months.
Both the civil lawsuit and the federal criminal charges were related to the way that GirlsDoPorn groomed victims using false pretences, trapped victims in hotel rooms, manipulated and threatened victims into signing contracts and making videos, and lied to victims about how said videos would be distributed and their anonymity protected.
“The pornography industry has long tried to paper over the exploitation of human beings that occurs during the production of its ‘content,’” continued Bull. “Many survivors of the pornography industry have reported that performers routinely suffer manipulation and abuse for the production of pornography, and we believe this important case and ruling has created a template for other survivors to come forward as plaintiffs. We at the National Center on Sexual Exploitation Law Center stand ready to help.”