April 23, 2019

Women Expose the Sexual Abuse and Trafficking Hidden in the Porn Industry

Derek Hay, one of the pornography industry-leading agents, has been accused by several women “of fraud, sexual abuse and links to an illegal escort business — accusations including coercing performers to pay off ‘unconscionable’ fees and penalties either in cash or by performing sexual acts on him.”

In a 75 minute documentary produced by NBC, many women come forward to speak about their similar experiences and allegations against Hay, who has completely denied any involvement. Although not included in the formal complaint filed through the California Labor Commissioner’s Office, over 20 women have come forward to speak out against Hay despite fearing retaliation.

The official complaint says Hay “coerces some of his performers into ‘escorting’ and then, should they seek to terminate their (illegal) contracts, threatens to ‘out’ them for performing illegal sex work”.

This story highlights the dark world of harm and deceit that laces the pornography industry, where the men in charge are the primary profiteers. The only price is the women who are continuously exploited and who live in constant fear of speaking out.

Many believe that the porn industry is a safe and harm-free environment, full of empowered and in-control women. The accusations against Derek Hay and his associates however, show the complete opposite is true. The women here and no doubt in other aspects of the pornography world are lied to, cheated out of their money, and often even sex trafficked into prostitution.

Sex trafficking is legally defined by the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) as “the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provisioning, patronizing, soliciting, or obtaining of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act”. Additionally, Congress goes further to define what constitutes as a severe form of trafficking. When traffickers utilize force, fraud, or coercion to traffick their victims, it becomes the legal definition of a severe form of human trafficking. Force, fraud, and coercion are exactly the methods Derek Hay is accused of using in order to traffick the women working at his agency.

Hay and other influential pornographers like him are using and abusing their power to sexually exploit the women they are supposed to represent, creating an environment of fear and control. The mainstream pornography industry is facilitating the trafficking of hundreds, if not thousands, of women and girls as practices such as these are continuously swept under the rug, and the women themselves often scared to speak out due to stigma and threats of retaliation from their traffickers.

One woman who experienced similar behavior and abuse from Hay said, “It terrifies me that another young girl could fall victim to something like this.” It terrifies us too – that girls and women are being subjected to sexual exploitation in the pornography industry every day.

At NCOSE, we believe and fight for the dignity of human beings everywhere. No woman should feel forced, subjected to fraud, or coerced into selling her body for sex, even in the porn industry.

To learn more about the harms of pornography, visit our page here. You can read more about sex trafficking here.

Sommer Porter

Copywriter

Sommer Porter is a recent graduate of Brigham Young University, earning her
bachelor’s degree in Sociology with a minor in International Development. She is
passionate about solving important world issues such as sexual exploitation through
non-profit work and advocacy. She has worked with several non-profits, including
spending three months conducting a program evaluation for an organization based
in Bulgaria. She now works as a copywriter at the National Center on Sexual
Exploitation and hopes to pursue a graduate degree in the future.

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