This #GivingTuesday, be a CHANGE AGENT
This #GivingTuesday - be a CHANGE AGENT
Your gift, TRIPLED by the Match, will help end sexual exploitation. Together we’ll change policies, provide hope, and change culture!
Like never before in our nation’s history, America is suffering from systemic sexual exploitation. Sex trafficking, sexual assault, child sexual abuse, pornography, and more, are issues significantly impacting American citizens, families, and communities. This necessitates that our federal government addresses the full spectrum of sexual harm.
Accordingly, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation has developed The Freedom From Sexploitation Agenda to present Congress and the executive branch with robust critical recommendations that powerfully combat sexual exploitation, protect human rights, and preserve human dignity.
Updated February 3, 2020
America is suffering from a sexual exploitation crisis. Sexual harassment, sexual assault, child sexual abuse, pornography, child sex abuse material, prostitution, sex trafficking and more, are issues significantly impacting American citizens, families, and communities. This necessitates that our federal government address the full web of sexual harm.
Evidence supports the fact that these are not isolated phenomena occurring in a vacuum. Rather, these and other forms of sexual abuse and exploitation overlap and reinforce one another forming an intersecting web of sexual exploitation. For example, we know that sexting makes adolescents vulnerable to revenge porn or sexual extortion and that child sexual abuse often predates an individual’s entry into prostitution. We also know that pornography is often made of sex trafficked women and children, and that pornography consumption increases the demand for buying sex. Further, females who consume pornography are at greater risk of being a victim of sexual harassment or sexual assault. The intersections goes on and on.
Accordingly, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation has developed The Freedom from Sexploitation Agenda (The Agenda) presenting Congress and the executive branch with robust recommendations that powerfully combat sexual exploitation, protect human rights, and preserve human dignity. The Agenda presented here is not final or encompassing of all needed reforms but seeks to expand and strengthen existing policy and legal frameworks. First launched in 2017, several of The Agenda items have been achieved. The Agenda is periodically updated as bills are passed and new opportunities to advance freedom from sexploitation identified. Suggestions for additional agenda items are welcomed.
Policy & Legislative Recommendations to Curb Sexual Exploitation:
Ironically, courts have recently interpreted section 230 of the CDA as shielding sex trafficking and prostitution websites from criminal and civil liabilities in cases involving the facilitation of sex trafficking via the Internet. As a result, sex trafficking is flourishing on the Internet, and those profiting from the sexual exploitation of countless individuals have repeatedly escaped justice.
A recent meta-analysis of 22 studies from seven countries provides clear evidence confirming that pornography exposure is significantly associated with sexual aggression. As the authors stated, “the accumulated data leave little doubt that, on the average, individuals who consume pornography more frequently are more likely to hold attitudes conducive to sexual aggression and engage in actual acts of sexual aggression than individuals who do not consume pornography or who consume pornography less frequently.”
Additionally, a nationally representative survey of pornography use among youth aged 9–17, found that those with increased exposure to Internet pornography were significantly more likely to report physical and sexual victimization. A separate study of 14- to 19-year-olds found that females who watched pornographic videos were at significantly greater likelihood of being victims of sexual harassment or sexual assault.
FOSTA-SESTA created a limited sex trafficking exception to Section 230, however it is still possible for websites to evade both civil and criminal liability for other forms of sexual exploitation. Section 230, as it currently stands, allows websites to promote and facilitate image-based sexual abuse, with themes of incest, racism, and sexual violence, leaving victims without any possibility of legal recourse. It protects social media platforms, aware of child exploitation taking place on its sites, which may play a role in facilitating the abuse. Any lawsuits against these websites are cut off before they can begin, blocking the possibility of a discovery process that could unearth conspiratorial schemes to profit from criminal activity that may contribute to sexual exploitation.
 Nancy E. Willard, “Sexting and Youth: Achieving a Rational Response,” Journal of Social Sciences 6, no. 4, (2010): 542–562.
 Rochelle Dalla, Yan Xia, and Heather Kennedy, “‘You Just Give Them What They Want and Pray They Don’t Kill You’: Street-Level Sex Workers’ Reports of Victimization, Personal Resources, and Coping Strategies.” Violence Against Women 9, no. 11, (2003): 1367-1394; Melissa Farley, Ann Cotton, et al., “Prostitution and Trafficking in Nine Countries: An Update on Violence and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder,” Journal of Trauma Practice 2, no. 3/4 (2003): 33-74.
 Farley, ibid.
 Rachel Durchslag and Samir Goswami, Deconstructing the Demand for Prostitution: Preliminary Insights from Interviews with Chicago Men Who Purchase Sex, (Chicago, IL: Chicago Alliance against Sexual Exploitation, 2008); Martin A. Monto and Nick McRee, “A Comparison of the Male Customers of Female Street Prostitutes With National Samples of Men,” International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology 49, no. 5 (2005): 505–529; Martin A. Monto, “Summary Report for National Institute of Justice Grant #97-IJ-CX-0033 ‘Focusing on the Clients of Street Prostitutes: A Creative Approach to Reducing Violence Against Women’” (October 30, 1999).
 Silvia Bonino, Silvia Ciairano, Emanuela Rabagliette, and Elena Cattelino, “Use of Pornography and Self-Reported Engagement in Sexual Violence among Adolescents,” European Journal of Developmental Psychology 3, no. 3 (2006):265-288; Leslie Gordon Simons, Ronald L. Simmons, Man-Kit Lei, and Tara E. Sutton, “Exposure to Harsh Parenting and Pornography as Explanations for Males’ Sexual Coercion and Females’ Sexual Victimization.” Violence and Victims 27, no. 3 (2012): 378-395.
 Paul J. Wright, Robert S. Tokunaga, and Ashley Kraus. “A Meta-Analysis of Pornography Consumption and Actual Acts of Sexual Aggression in General Population Studies.” Journal of Communication, (December 29, 2015): 1-23.
 Michele L. Ybarra and Kimberly Mitchell, “Exposure to Internet Pornography among Children and Adolescents: A National Survey,” CyberPsychology & Behavior 8, no. 5 (2005): 473–486.
 Silvia Bonino, Silvia Ciairano, Emanuela Rabagliette, and Elena Cattelino, “Use of Pornography and Self-Reported Engagement in Sexual Violence among Adolescents,” European Journal of Developmental Psychology 3, no. 3 (2006):265-288.
The National Center on Sexual Exploitation hosted a National Briefing at the U.S. Capitol on March 20, 2017 to present Congress and the Executive Branch with policy recommendations for addressing these critical issues. The videos below are from that event. VIEW THE EVENT FLYER & PROGRAM
Check back here regularly for developments on these efforts.
On October 1, 2020, Dr. Eleanor Gaetan, Director of Public Policy at the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE), testified in front of the Bipartisan Task Force to End Sexual Violence. The task force, which includes Representatives Annie Kuster (D-NH), Susan Davis (D-CA), Dave Joyce (R-OH), and John Katko (R-NY), was holding a virtual roundtable…
Netflix, the global, mega-popular streaming service, recently came under fire for the reveal of their newest film acquisition: Cuties, a French film dedicated to the hypersexualization of young children. In the now-updated poster and movie description, 11 year old girls pose in tight, revealing outfits on a glittering stage, with one girl even posing on…
Right now, we are experiencing a cultural moment centered on combatting the devastating and very real issue of child sex trafficking. However, despite the well-meaning intent behind much of this national discussion, many of the theories and social media posts being passed around are riddled with misconceptions that actively harm the anti-trafficking movement. For instance,…
The Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved the EARN IT Act Thursday, July 2, in a full committee markup of the bill. Introduced by a bipartisan group of Senators in March 2020, the Eliminating Abusive and Rampant Neglect of Interactive Technologies Act (EARN IT Act, S. 3398) is designed to increase Big Tech accountability for two…
The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) is deeply grateful to the Senate Judiciary Committee which unanimously approved a stronger version of the EARN IT Act Thursday, July 2, in a full committee markup of the bill. Introduced by a bipartisan group of Senators in March 2020, the Eliminating Abusive and Rampant Neglect of Interactive…
In the vein of similar encouragements from members of the United States Senate and House of Representatives, U.S.-based bishops for the Catholic Church have sent a letter to the United States Attorney General, William Barr, and the Department of Justice which calls on them to resume obscenity law enforcement. The letter notes the increasing and…
This article regarding the EARN IT Act is about the originally published version of the legislation. For the most up-to-date information about the version of the EARN IT Act that was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee, please read more here. The EARN IT Act is designed to foster a safer online experience for children…
UPDATE: This article regarding the EARN IT Act is about the originally published version of the legislation. For the most up-to-date information about the version of the EARN IT Act that was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee, please read more here. Why is the EARN IT Act important? Online child sexual exploitation is devastatingly…
Human trafficking remains a major threat to public safety, health, and human rights throughout the United States, but the absence of solid data about its true scope and character impairs efforts to effectively respond. It’s been 20 years since the Trafficking Victims Protection Act established human trafficking as a distinct form of crime, but there…
This year marks the 20-year anniversary of passage of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act. As the nation now observes National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation reflects on progress made and work yet to be done. “We’re celebrating a remarkable milestone,” said Lisa L. Thompson, Vice President of Policy…