Lisa L. Thompson

Vice President of Policy and Research

As Vice President of Policy and Research for the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, Lisa conducts policy analysis and advocacy, advances understanding of pornography’s public health harms, and liaises with public officials, advocates, and academics to advance strategies combating the web of sexual exploitation, including pornography, stripping, prostitution, sexual trafficking, sexual assault, and more.

Lisa joined NCOSE following two years with World Hope International where as Director of Anti-Trafficking, Lisa oversaw sex trafficking recovery programs in Cambodia, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. Lisa is a contributing author to Hands that Heal: International Curriculum for Caregivers of Trafficking Survivors, as well as the book Global Perspectives on Prostitution and Sex Trafficking:  Europe Latin America, North America, and Global. Lisa also routinely speaks and trains on sexual exploitation topics for a diverse range of audiences. Lisa served for more than 12 years as the Liaison for the Abolition of Sexual Trafficking for The Salvation Army USA National Headquarters.

Lisa earned a Bachelor of Arts in Government from Western Kentucky University, and Master’s degree in Leadership, Public Policy and Social Issues from Union Institute and University.

Articles by Lisa L. Thompson

Video: Understanding Sexual Exploitation – What Drives Our Objectification Culture?

Women’s experiences of harassment, exploitation, and assault are coming more fully to light in our culture. While efforts have been made to protect women from further harassment, we often don’t understand why victimization occurs. Lisa Thompson, the VP of Policy and Research for the National Center on Exploitation, presented at Q conference about the factors, […]

Q conference sexual exploitation

Issue: Objectification

Another Woman Dies In the Context of Massage Parlor Brothels

The New York Times has published a deeply moving in-depth article dealing with the death of Song Yang, a prostituted woman in Flushing, NY (an area known for decades for its association with sex trafficking of Asian women). Sometimes women in prostitution are killed by sex buyers, pimps, or disease, but in this circumstance, the woman died […]

Issue: Prostitution – Bright Light on the Red Light

Greatest Irony of our Time: Treating Children with Problematic Sexual Behaviors

Attending the National Symposium on Sexual Behavior of Youth (NSSBY) this past June brought into stark view what I consider to be the greatest social irony of our time: that while children have unprecedented access to hardcore Internet pornography, not only are we horrified when children act out what they’ve seen on other children, our […]

Issue: Child Sexual Exploitation

Congress Strikes Blow against Online Sex Trafficking

At roughly 2:00 AM on a day in 1990, Patrick Trueman, then Chief of the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) at the U.S. Department of Justice, was surprised to find himself stuck in a traffic jam. Where was the long line of vehicles ahead of him going at such an early hour? Into the […]

Issue: Prostitution – Bright Light on the Red Light

Power of FOSTA-SESTA Felt within 48 Hours of Senate Passage: Websites Move Swiftly to Shutter Prostitution Ads

Within 48 hours of the U.S. Senate’s passage of legislation combating online sex trafficking, several websites have shuttered their prostitution ads. The historic legislation passed the Senate in a landslide 97-2 vote on Wednesday. H.R. 1865 was a legislative package that combined the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA), sponsored by Rep. Ann Wagner, with […]

Issue: Prostitution – Bright Light on the Red Light

Senate Listens to Survivors of Sex Trafficking, Passes FOSTA-SESTA

The Senate today passed FOSTA-SESTA by a vote of 97-2. The legislative package included H.R. 1865 the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA), sponsored by Rep. Ann Wagner, and an amendment sponsored by Rep. Mimi Walters which incorporated the vital reforms contained in S. 1693 the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA), sponsored by […]

2018 Dirty Dozen: Backpage.com

Why the Senate Must Pass a Clean FOSTA-SESTA and Stand with Sex Trafficking Victims

The Senate is expected to vote early next week on H.R. 1865—legislation known as FOSTA-SESTA. This legislation restores civil rights of action to victims of sex trafficking and empowers states Attorneys General to prosecute the corporate entities and websites that facilitate online sex trafficking. The National Center on Sexual Exploitation calls on the Senate to […]

2018 Dirty Dozen: Backpage.com

Does #MeToo Have the Power to Bring Down Corporatized Sex Trafficking?

Pending Senate Vote on CDA a Critical Test of Movement’s Power While it may feel like old news now, the revelations about sexual harassment and abuse perpetrated against dozens of women by Harvey Weinstein have had important and far-reaching ripple effects. Suddenly, an ocean of women’s narratives about sexual injustice and abuse long held back […]

Project_Communications Decency Act

For International Women’s Day Restore Rights to Victims of Online Sex Trafficking

Today the world will observe International Women’s Day with rallies, marches, and forums about policy issues impacting the lives and wellbeing of women. While we welcome the celebrations and dialogue, there is a vitally important legislative step which the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) urges that the U.S. Senate take next week to tangibly […]

A Giant Step Closer to Restoring Rights for Victims of Online Sex Trafficking

Yesterday the U.S. House of Representatives passed an historic legislative package to fight online sex trafficking, by a vote of 388 to 25. The legislation included H.R. 1865 the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA), sponsored by Rep. Ann Wagner, and an amendment sponsored by Rep. Mimi Walters which incorporated the vital reforms contained in […]

2018 Dirty Dozen: Backpage.com

Restoring Rights for Victims of Sex Trafficking

Tomorrow the U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on a legislative package to fight online sex trafficking. The House will take up H.R. 1865 the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA), sponsored by Rep. Ann Wagner, along with an amendment sponsored by Rep. Mimi Walters which includes the vital reforms contained in […]

Issue: Sex Trafficking

New Momentum on House Efforts to Tackle Online Sex Trafficking

Next week, the House is expected to vote on legislation introduced by Rep. Ann Wagner, the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (H.R. 1865), or FOSTA, which will be amended with language from the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (S. 1693), SESTA. That deal combines H.R. 1865 FOSTA, legislation sponsored by Rep Ann […]

sex trafficking modern-day slavery

Issue: Sex Trafficking

Public Health Impacts of Pornography Are No Trivial Matter

This week Florida’s House of Representatives formally recognized the public health harms of pornography. The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) applauds this action and Rep. Ross Spano for spearheading this effort. Public health impacts of pornography are no trivial matter. The harms associated with pornography use are wide-ranging. For example, two recent meta-analyses (a […]

Issue: Pornography Harms

Kansas Resolution Continues Societal Awakening About the Negative Impacts of Pornography

The Kansas Senate voted Tuesday to pass a resolution condemning pornography for the harm it causes both individuals and society; the Kansas House took similar action in 2017. The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) applauds these actions. It wasn’t long ago that the American public considered smoking innocuous. People smoked at work and in […]

Issue: Pornography Harms

Myth or Fact: Is Sex Trafficking at the Super Bowl Really a Problem?

Recently, claims about the prevalence of sex trafficking at the Super Bowl have garnered skepticism, with some people even asserting that sex trafficking at the Super Bowl is an urban legend. Do these claims hold water? Acknowledging the Hype To begin it’s important to acknowledge that in the past some well-intentioned individuals and groups have […]

Issue: Sex Trafficking

James Franco’s Show The Deuce Normalizes Sexual Exploitation of Women. Now He’s Accused of Sexual Misconduct.

Multiple women, including two actresses, accused actor, director, and producer James Franco of sexual misconduct after he wore a “Time’s Up” pin to the Golden Globe Awards. Franco says the allegations “aren’t accurate,” but he supports “change.” Franco is a producer and actor for HBO’s sexually exploitive show, The Deuce, which is about pornography and […]

2017 Dirty Dozen List – MASTER

Tackling Modern-Day Slavery, Online Sex Trafficking

Today, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology will hold a hearing on H.R. 1865, the Allowing States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017 (FOSTA), which was introduced earlier this year by Rep. Ann Wagner. This narrowly crafted legislation is a critical tool for amending section 230 of the Communications […]

Issue: Sex Trafficking

Amend the CDA, there is no change more urgent to fight sex trafficking

Today the Senate Commerce Committee voted unanimously in support of the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (S. 1693). This legislation would amend Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) to protect victims of online sex trafficking and empower state law enforcement officials. The National Center on Sexual Exploitation applauds the action of the Commerce Committee […]

Senate Commerce Committee SESTA Markup

2018 Dirty Dozen: Backpage.com

SESTA Gives Senate a Chance to Protect Victims of Online Sex Trafficking

On Wednesday, November 8, the Senate Commerce Committee is scheduled to consider the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (S. 1693). The legislation would amend section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) to protect victims of online sex trafficking.  It is the fervent hope of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation that the Committee will […]

2018 Dirty Dozen: Backpage.com

Three Survivors Reach Settlement with Sex Trafficking Website Backpage.com

We are ecstatic at the news that plaintiffs in J.S., S.L, and L.C., v. Village Voice Media Holdings have reached a settlement with Backpage.com in their sex trafficking lawsuit against the classified sex ads website. While the settlement in no way restores to these survivors what was so savagely taken from them as a result of the sexual […]

2018 Dirty Dozen: Backpage.com

Silenced No More: Online Sex Trafficking Victims Deserve Real Solutions

Today, the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing at 10:00 AM EST concerning online sex trafficking and the Communications Decency Act (CDA). For years, the courts have interpreted Section 230 of the CDA as granting broad immunity to websites such as Backpage.com and others that publish third-party content and facilitate sex trafficking from any criminal liability. Major tech […]

Rep. Ann Wagner Discusses Amending the CDA

Project_Communications Decency Act

Background: Google’s opposition to Congressional amendments to the Communications Decency Act

In 2017, two Bills were introduced in Congress (S. 1693 and H.R. 1865) to amend 47 USC 230 of the Communications Decency Act.  While NCOSE has reservations about the language of these Bills and hopes changes will be made during the legislative process, we laud the Bill’s sponsors and support their efforts. Unfortunately, some in […]

2018 Dirty Dozen: Backpage.com

Game of Thrones Season 7 Update: The Ode to Incest Continues

Proclaimed the most popular TV show in the world, the cast of Game of Thrones was recently featured on the cover of Time magazine to promote the July premiere of Season 7. Despite all of the hype, it is important not to lose sight of the persistent, perverse, and sadistic sexual themes Game of Thrones […]

Cersie and Jaime in Game of Thrones

2017 Dirty Dozen List – MASTER

VIDEO: Comcast Defended Profiting from Racist Pornography, And More

Watch Our Video About Comcast Xfinity, and More: Comcast Corporation is an American telecommunications conglomerate that provides numerous services including broadcasting and cable television, home phone services, and high-speed Internet. Unfortunately, Comcast Xfinity also peddles pornography via its video-on-demand and premium channel services.   We are asking Comcast to immediately stop distributing hardcore pornography, which […]

2017 Dirty Dozen List – MASTER

Video: Twitter Needs To Address the Pornography, Prostitution, and Child Pornography on Its Platform

Watch Our Video about Twitter Here:   While many know Twitter as an innovator in social media communication, for years it has facilitated the distribution of copious amounts of hardcore pornography and aided in the promotion of prostitution. Media reports suggest that as many as 10 million Twitter accounts may include explicit sexual content. Twitter’s […]

2017 Dirty Dozen List – MASTER

CNN Attempted to Normalize Prostitution in the Latest Lisa Ling Report

Award-winning journalist, Lisa Ling’s latest report on CNN’s This is Life went inside the Moonlight Bunny Ranch, a legal brothel in Nevada owned by pimp Dennis Hof. This episode was a display of socially irresponsible journalism that normalized the inherently exploitive organized sexual exploitation industry. Does Lisa Ling think that a world where men can […]

Issue: Prostitution – Bright Light on the Red Light

Chatting with the CEO of Verizon about Pornography

Last year I landed my dream job—a position with the National Center on Sexual Exploitation! I had known Patrick Trueman and Dawn Hawkins for several years, deeply admired their work, and longed to join them in it. Finally my dream came true last July, and as it turns out, working side-by-side with them has been […]

2016 Dirty Dozen List – MASTER

We Agree, Porn Harms Relationships and Here’s Why

On April 5th, 2016, Drs. John and Julie Gottman, clinical psychologists and co-founders of the Gottman Institute, posted “An Open Letter on Porn.” This article discussed the serious threat pornography poses for intimacy and relationships in a powerful and direct manner. Below is a response from Lisa Thompson, Vice President and Director of Education and […]

Issue: Pornography Harms

HBO is on the 2016 Dirty Dozen List

HBO is an American subscription-only, cable television network owned by Home Box Office, Inc., a division of Time Warner. As estimated by Nielsen in July 2015, approximately 30.9% of the 116.4 million U.S. homes with televisions receive HBO. Through its HBO NOW streaming service, its content can be streamed to mobile devises via broadband connections. […]

2017 Dirty Dozen List – MASTER

Open Letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch and the U.S. Department of Justice

Below is an abbreviation of a letter the National Center on Sexual Exploitation send to Attorney General Loretta Lynch and the U.S. Department of Justice   Dear Madame Attorney General: We are writing the U.S. Department of Justice yet again to express our continuing alarm and astonishment regarding its abject failure and outright refusal to […]

2018 Dirty Dozen: The Watch List – DOJ – Defend Justice

Cosmo Came for Christmas: Now Join Our “Cosmo-X-Vent”

By Lisa Thompson with Dani Bianculli Few people following the news could have missed the controversy brewing around the Starbuck’s “Christmas” coffee cup. Conspicuously missing from the bright, red cup is any greeting referring to Christmas or any of the holidays associated with this time of year. Whether you take issue with the Starbucks cup or […]

2015 Dirty Dozen List

Global Day of Action against Amnesty International

Statement Made at the DC Protest Against Amnesty International: “An Orwellian Moment” By Lisa L. Thompson     We are gathered here today, in solidarity with groups around the world, to voice our opposition to Amnesty International’s support of full decriminalization of prostitution. Full decriminalization of prostitution in no way rectifies the conditions of inequality, […]

2017 Dirty Dozen List – MASTER

Prostitution and “Choice”

Argument: “There is no problem with prostitution as long as it’s freely chosen.”  Response: “The debate about choice in prostitution is always focused on those with the least power and control in the whole equation: the prostituting person. It’s time to discuss the choices of those with the real power—sex buyers, pimps, corporate interests, and […]

2017 Dirty Dozen List – MASTER

Sexual Exploitation is Nobody’s “Job.”

Argument #1: Prostitution is sex work. Response: “Sexual exploitation is nobody’s ‘job.’”   Several years ago the advocacy group Women Hurt in Systems of Prostitution (WHISPER) developed a powerful tool that communicated the extent of the harms experienced by persons in prostitution. Just what was this tool? Answer: a “job” description. Few things undermine the […]

2017 Dirty Dozen List: Amnesty International NoAmnesty