December 31, 2018

Two Developments That Changed Our Movement

During my many years battling pornography, I have seen a multitude of ups and downs. Each victory as comes with new challenges. Now, we face two challenges that are bigger than any other, and we need your help.

1. The Internet

The detrimental impact of the advent of internet pornography cannot be overstated.

Today, 1 in 4 older millennials report seeing hardcore Internet pornography before puberty. Children and adults alike are exposed to graphic videos with common themes of incest, sexual violence, racism, and statutory rape of adult men with young girls. And the content is unlimited.

2. Halting Obscenity Prosecutions

Most people are surprised that Federal law prohibits the distribution of obscene adult pornography on the Internet, on TV, in hotels, retail shops, through the mail, etc.

In the eyes of the law, hardcore pornography (obscenity) is not “free speech”—similar to other forms of unprotected speech, such as defamation, blackmail, or child pornography.

Obscenity prosecutions were incredibly successful and had a profound effect on America’s porn industry.  They both reduced the number of producer/distributors and changed the nature of the pornography produced.

Now that obscenity law hasn’t been enforced by the Department of Justice for nearly 10 years, the pornography industry has run rampant.

Despite, and perhaps because of, these setbacks, the movement against pornography has grown into a more diverse and vibrant effort than ever before.

In 2009, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation saw the need to foster a new movement, a Coalition, uniting people of all faiths or no faith, all races, and all political persuasions. This new movement recognizes pornography is one part in the interlinked web of sexual exploitation that includes sexual violence, child sex abuse, sex trafficking and more.  

The pornography industry has not won.

We have seen progress with companies like Comcast and Tumblr and Walmart, but there are still celebrities and companies wrongly endorsing porn as healthy. Now is the time to act! We are at a tipping point in our culture on this issue, but our window won’t be open for long. Now is the perfect time to invest in this movement and create a future free from pornography.

Patrick A. Trueman


Patrick Trueman serves as president of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation.  He spearheads efforts to address the intersectionality between all forms of sexual exploitation, including the public health crisis of pornography, the demand for commercial sexual exploitation, the abuse of children, and more. Under his leadership, NCOSE has produced policy improvements at a wide range of notable institutions, including Google, Wal-Mart, the Department of Justice, Verizon, the Federal Communications Commission, and more.

In 2015, Mr. Trueman, a lawyer for more than 40 years, established the organization’s Law Center, to influence the law and our courts to ensure the values of human dignity are represented.

Patrick Trueman is a former Chief of the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Criminal Division at the U. S. Department of Justice from 1988 to 1993. While there, he supervised the prosecution of child sex crimes, child pornography, and obscenity, managing an office of prosecutors and working with the nation’s ninety-three United States Attorneys to initiate and coordinate federal prosecutions.

During his years as a lawyer, he litigated cases at all levels of the federal system, including in the United States Supreme Court. He has been an advisor to many municipalities on First Amendment law and has helped draft ordinances to end or curb the impact of sexually oriented businesses such as pornography shops, strip clubs, and related establishments. A recognized international expert, Mr. Trueman has traveled throughout the world to speak about human trafficking and the harms of sexual exploitation.

Mr. Trueman lives just outside Washington, D.C., and is married to Laura Clay Trueman. Laura and Pat Trueman have three children.



Further Reading