OnlyFans and Prostitution – How It Harms

It is an accepted fact, supported by survivor testimony, that pornographic pictures and videos are used to advertise for both sex trafficking and prostitution victims. (Law enforcement is finding that many sex trafficking victims and child sexual abuse imagery (i.e. child pornography) victims are coerced into creating live stream or webcam pornography as well.)

So it is not surprising that some individuals use OnlyFans to promote in-person prostitution.

Prostitution is a system of commercial sexual exploitation that causes psychological and physical trauma, which cannot be regulated away.

Overwhelmingly, the persons purchased for sex are women (but also include male and female children, transgendered males, and prostituting men), and those doing the purchasing are men. Without question, the vast majority of physical and sexual violence inflicted on those in the sex trade is perpetrated by those purchasing persons for sex—the sex buyers.

For Example:

In interviews with women in prostitution in Canada, more than 50% of the women reported experiencing violence from sexual buyers, including being: stabbed or cut, raped, gang-raped, raped at gunpoint, forced to engage in degrading sexual acts, choked/strangled, beaten, kidnapped, stalked, held with a gun to head, tied up, tortured, beaten with objects (e.g. baseball bat, crowbar), and run over. (1)

A study in San Francisco interviewed 130 prostituting persons (women, men, and transgender men, aged 14-61) regarding violence in their lives and symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Types and amounts of violence experienced while in prostitution included: 82% were physically assaulted; 55% of physical assaults were perpetrated by sex buyers. (2)

A study of street-based prostitution in inner-city Washington, D.C., found high incidents of violence. Since entering prostitution, 61% reported being physically assaulted, with the majority being perpetrated by sexual buyers (75%). And 76.2% wanted to exit prostitution but didn’t feel like it was viable. (3)


(1) Nixon, K., Tutty, L., Downe, P., Gorkoff, K., & Ursel, J. (2002, September). The everyday occurrence: Violence in the lives of girls exploited through prostitution. Violence Against Women, 8(9), 1016-1043.

(2) Farley, M. and Barkan, H. (1998). Prostitution, violence against women, and posttraumatic stress disorder. Women & Health, 27(3), 37-49.

(3) Valera, R., Sawyer, R. & Schiraldi, G. (2001). Perceived health needs of inner-city street prostitutes: A preliminary study American Journal Health Behavior, 25(1), 50-59.


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