Sex trafficking has recently become a hot social justice issue. Nearly everyone is against sex trafficking, along with rape and sexual violence. Yet on the flip-side, pornography has never been so normalized in our society. It’s seen as a normal, even healthy, expression of sexuality. It’s accepted as the natural thing to do. It’s protected as free speech.
But sex trafficking and pornography go hand-in-hand. Being against sex trafficking while watching pornography is like saying you’re a vegan and eating meat. Here are three ways porn and sex trafficking intersect:
- Porn increases demand for paid sex. Like all industries, sex trafficking is driven by demand. The more buyers there are, the more product (girls, boys, and women) sellers need to provide.
- Porn is used to train victims of sex trafficking about what sex-buyers want.
- Porn production is rife with violence, threats, force, fraud and coercion (wait…that’s the definition of human trafficking.)
[Learn more about the intersection of porn and sex trafficking, along with source citations in Fight the New Drug’s article “The Porn Industry’s Dark Secret”]
What’s the difference between prostitution and pornography? A camera.
They are both part of the sex trade. And while not all women in prostitution and pornography and other forms of the sex trade (like strip clubs, escorts, web-camming) are there under force or coercion, according to Prostitution Research’s Hierarchy of Coercion, 98% of women in the sex trade are there because they lack options. About 38% of women in the sex trade are forced into it by social inequalities such as financial need, a history of incest or childhood sexual abuse, or emergency situations such as escaping a violent partner, losing a job, or having children with special needs. The other 60% are literally enslaved. There is little meaningful discussion of choice for these women, and many have been physically coerced into prostitution.
Knowing harms of pornography is a great place to start. But for most porn viewers, that’s not enough. In fact, it can be downright depressing. Which prompts a craving for a little solace from … you guessed it, porn.
That’s because porn is addictive. The earlier a person is first exposed to porn, the more harmful the addiction can be. And with the proliferation of free online content, porn addiction has become an epidemic.
Like any addiction, the first step is admitting you have a problem. The next step is getting help, because no one can beat an addiction alone. Here are some great resources to help a recovering porn addict on the journey:
- FTND’s Fortify Program
- Covenant Eyes Accountability and Internet Filtering
- Resource List from National Center on Sexual Exploitation
- Internet Safety 101 from Enough is Enough
Local Tri-Cities, Washington addiction recovery groups:
Avenue is a Christ-centered, faith-based program that helps men find victory over inappropriate sexual activity. Whether it's porn use, extramarital sex, and anything in-between, Avenue can help you on the journey to recovery and freedom from shame and guilt associated with inappropriate sexual activity. Membership in this group requires an interview.
This groups meet at C3, 150 Gage Blvd. Richland, WA 99352
Ministry Leader: Adam Hrebeniuk adam@C3tricities.com (509) 627-2055
Pure Desires Ministries (2 local groups):
West Side Church
615 Wright Ave, Richland (West Side North Room 7) Friday 5:30 AM
Ministry Leader: Dan Wodrich (509) 946-4656
Richland Seventh-Day Adventist Church
1807 McMurray Ave, Richland
Ministry Leader: Richard Griswold 509-946-8807 firstname.lastname@example.org
Celebrate Recovery (4 local groups):
South Hills Church
3700 W. 27th Ave, Kennewick Driving directions and map
Contact Person – Aaron Oosterwyk, 509-586-6101, email@example.com
Faith Assembly Christian Center
1800 N. Road 72, Pasco Driving directions and map
Contact Person – Dave Gerig, 509-302-3866, firstname.lastname@example.org
1916 Jadwin Avenue, Richland Driving directions and map Friday 6:00 PM
Contact Person – David Edwards 509-551-4475 David_W_Edwards@rl.gov
1124 Stevens Dr, Richland Driving directions and map Wednesday 5:30 PM
Contact Person – Jennifer Wilson (509) 308-9483 email@example.com
Tri-Cities SAA (Sex Addicts Anonymous)
Sexaholics Anonymous (SA)
1153 Gage Boulevard
Richland, WA 99352
Riverview Counseling & Consultant Inc
1110 Gilmore Ave, Richland (N of Swift Blvd) Thursday 6:00 PM
Jim D – 509-554-8488 firstname.lastname@example.org
Pat O – 505-903-8799