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Child sex trafficking survivor forced into porn demands gov’t stop Pornhub from profiting off crimes

Child sex trafficking survivor forced into porn demands gov’t stop Pornhub from profiting off crimes

A sex trafficking victim waits for customers. | REUTERS/CLARO CORTES

A sex trafficking survivor who was forced to perform in porn videos and sexually assaulted by multiple men is demanding that Pornhub be held accountable for profiting off child sex crimes after numerous videos were posted on the site that is visited 115 million times every day.

In a post on the website of Exodus Cry, an international nonprofit organization committed to abolishing sex trafficking and the commercial sex industry, Jewell Baraka recounted how her father trafficked her into prostitution and later porn, starting when she was only 11 years old. The abuse lasted for several years until she was 17. She didn't understand that the abuse she suffered as a child was not her fault. Baraka was 14 when she was first trafficked into porn.

"Watching Pornhub’s crimes being exposed on every phone and computer screen the last few weeks has been deeply satisfying. It feels like karmic payback for all the videos of underage, trafficked, and raped women and children that are still up on their website," she wrote.

"More than just payback, though, this is the moment that justice begins for countless girls like me who were trafficked in porn. Finally we can say that we were trafficked in porn, finally people will understand."

The trafficking that goes on within the porn industry has largely remained hidden, she said, celebrating that now it can no longer be denied or ignored.

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"Every social issue has a moment when our culture becomes aware of it as a problem of our time. This is the moment when our culture finally sees the abuses within the porn industry as the urgent social issue it is."

Heightened attention has been given in recent years to the dangers of pornography. Thus far, 15 states have passed resolutions labeling porn as a public health crisis and have highlighted its links to domestic violence and human trafficking.

The connection to trafficking is eliciting a growing groundswell of support for action against Pornhub. A Change.org petition earlier this month calling for the website to be shut down and for its executives to be held accountable for aiding trafficking has garnered over 309,800 signatures.

"I believe that the public is starting to connect the dots between pornography and sex trafficking. And if there is enough pressure on our politicians and legal action, these companies and the executives that run them are going to be held to account for their crimes and brought to justice," said Exodus Cry director of abolition, in an interview with The Christian Post earlier this month.

"What we are seeing right now is a global awareness moment where concerned citizens around the world are saying, time’s up for superpredator Pornhub, owned by Mindgeek and every other company like them who is making millions of dollars off of the destruction of women and girls."

Baraka added in her post on Exodus Cry that when she was trafficked into prostitution she was repeatedly overpowered, but usually by one man. By contrast, in porn she was systematically violated by an entire crew every night she was exploited.

"For the sake of our children and the vulnerable that are being trafficked on their pages, sites like Pornhub must start caring. It is not optional. Sites that host user generated porn must have systems to verify identity, age, and consent of those who post and those who are in the videos. This process should happen before the video is posted on their websites," she asserted.

"The porn industry has both perpetrators and those complicit to crimes, because of their inaction, like Pornhub. Both must be addressed."

Other anti-porn advocates have noted that a 2018 federal court ruling portends particular danger to minors because regulations on the pornography industry were effectively gutted, likely increasing the production and distribution of child porn.

As CP reported in August 2018, a decision by Judge Michael Baylson (an appointee of former President George W. Bush) of the U.S. Third Circuit of Appeals essentially dismantled U.S. Code Title 18 Section 2257.

Though the porn industry is not believed to be a scrupulously law-abiding enterprise, the section was nevertheless an important check on the industry in that it required producers of pornography to maintain strict records regarding the ages of the porn actors in their films and to allow government inspectors to review those records at any time.

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