Corona’s Affects on the Sex Industry and Our Neighbors
As the Coronavirus rapidly spreads around the world, women continue to be exploited in the sex industry. As stay at home orders from governments have been implemented, people around the world have more free time on their hands than ever. Pornhub is capitalizing on people’s free time, boredom and desires for human connection due to quarantine. They have begun to provide free premium subscriptions as a form of charity to people in Italy and Spain. These free premium subscriptions were given at the beginning stages of the pandemic before Corona hit other major countries, and it is possible this offer will extend to United States citizens as stay at home orders increase.
The porn industry’s free subscriptions have caused an increase in online viewing of pornography. This increase has huge ramifications for people that are being exploited and puts many more individuals at risk . It is likely that our world’s free time and open subscriptions will continue causing demand to increase, ultimately creating the need for more “supply”or video content to be created. Already a large portion of pornography is deemed to be created from trafficking victim and minors. As demand increases so will the demand for more people to be lured and forced into the sex industry.
Treasures L.A, a non-profit organization, recently came out with a blog stating the sex industry is advertising for young women to go into “prostitution and the porn industry” on cars in downtown L.A . As our country and world face huge job losses due to stay at home orders; women and men are jobless and in need of finances to meet their basic needs. Treasures L.A explained how their group of survivors are particularly in need of aid and are at risk as many of them lost their jobs and were already in poverty. Those that run the sex industry know this is a great time to take advantage of those most vulnerable and suffering financially. After all, people need money to be able to feed their children and to survive. As a result many in our world, including our backyard of L.A., are being targeted and could be forced into this industry due to their dire circumstances for survival.
While the need is great there are several things we can do to help stop this problem, protect survivors and those most vulnerable. First we can donate to organizations that support survivors like Treasures L.A. By donating to organizations that directly work with survivors you can help keep their families afloat in this time so they are not forced into situations they do not want to be in. This also applies to those most vulnerable in our communities. We can donate our finances to various food banks, shelters and ministries that help provide basic needs of those who are financially unstable right now. By meeting the needs of those facing poverty there will be less of a risk of them falling vulnerable to traffickers.
Secondly, in this time we can come together as activists for freedom of those being exploited by fighting the porn industry. Right now the U.S is currently conducting an investigation into Pornhub for obscenity, trafficking and child abuse. While the government is in this investigation the public can turn up the heat and demand that our judicial system keep this site accountable to the already known cases of human trafficking and child abuse that have been found. We can join the community of activists that has been established through Trafficking Hub’s petition; this petition aims to fight collectively for accountability and to shut down the Pornhub site forever. Through this petition, and in combination with our individual and group efforts, we can demand our government also be active in fighting against other websites that promote pornography that traffick and abuse children. This would ultimately help decrease the supply of video content of men, women and children that are being forced to perform sexual acts. The prevention we can do right now is to sign the petition: https://traffickinghub.com/
A third step we need to take is to have meaningful conversations with one another about the dangers of pornography and how it is directly linked to the sexual exploitation of others. Through sharing this with others you can help them understand the dark realities of this industry, which could result in them stopping or, even better, preventing them from starting in the first place. If you want to learn more about how pornography and sex trafficking are connected and how to talk to others about it visit fightthenewdrug.org.
With each individual that stops watching this abusive content, demand goes down and so does the number of times a child gets abused. A family whose daughter is a survivor of sexual exploitation through pornography explained that each time their daughter’s video is viewed, legally, calls are made to report this to the family since she is a minor. As a result of people watching her content, the survivor and the family are re-traumatized over and over. This keeps them from moving forward from her past abuse and the crimes committed against her.
While this content is heavy we do not need to lose heart. We can take action today to make a difference for our world. We can all come together during this unknown time and work to protect those vulnerable to this crime and those who have already been affected. We can donate to help provide for survivors basic needs. We can come together and demand that our judicial systems keep these companies accountable and take responsibility for the crimes they have allowed to happen. We can educate those around us so the abuse of others online can be lessened and stopped, ultimately helping protect survivors and decrease demand in a time when this industry is trying to prey on individuals that are lonely and bored at home. The issues the world is facing are great but so are the things we can do to help one another out.
These are some tangible ways we can help make a huge difference in our world today. Below is a link to sign a petition to shut down Pornhub as well as a link to Treasures L.A to learn more about the crisis L.A is facing and what they do as an organization. We have so much we can do and have so much time to Love and Help others.
“You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know.”
― William Wilberforce
1. Vescovi, PJ. , 2020, “Corona Porn”: How Pornhub is Capitalizing on COVID-19, Exodus Cry
2.Harmony, 2020, “The Sex Industry and Covid-19”
3.Desanctis, Alexandra, 2020, “Sasse Calls On DOJ to Investigate Pornhub for Exploitation”, National Review
4. Sarah, 2020 “Here’s what you need to know about The New York Times podcasts on CSAM”, Thorn