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PREVENTING AND COMBATING THE DEVASTATING HARMS OF
PORNOGRAPHY, PROSTITUTION, SEX TRAFFICKING & SEXUAL SLAVERY
Female Porn Addiction: My Story of How I Became Addicted to Porn As a Girl in Middle School and Chose to Overcome It as a 25 Year Old Ex-Porn Performer

 

- By Vanessa Belmond - Ex-Porn Performer, Stripper, Camgirl & "Escort"

- Anti-Porn and Anti-Prostitution Writer, Speaker and Activist

- AntiPornography.org Volunteer

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WARNING! VERY GRAPHIC AND DISTURBING CONTENT BELOW!

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I am a recovering porn addict. I am also a 25 year old woman. You might think that someone in my position would be uncommon, but with the pornography-saturated culture that kids are growing up in today, girls and young women becoming porn addicts is a more common phenomenon all the time. So in a few years this will likely (and sadly) not be unusual at all. 
 
With the advent of the Internet, it's easier than ever for kids and teens to access extremely hardcore pornography. All it takes is a click of a mouse. So gone are the days of sneaking an older brother's or father's Playboy magazine. Now kids and teens can see almost any kind of extreme and abusive porn imaginable online for free -- any time they want and pretty much anywhere they want, including the classroom, the schoolyard and on the school bus, via their smart phones, game consoles, and portable DVD players.
 
My problem with pornography started innocently enough. (Doesn't all addiction start that way?) When I was about eleven years old my friend Alison* and I hung out at the home of two sisters almost every day after school. Their mom and step-dad didn't come home until the evening, and although these sisters weren't allowed to have other kids over at their house without supervision, that never stopped us from going over there.
 
These parents not only worked late, they also happened to have a huge (and not well-hidden) porn collection. They had magazines, DVDs, and even VHS tapes featuring all kinds of pornography. Being typically curious middle school kids, we watched a lot of it. We giggled through the movies, fast-forwarding and slowing down the sex scenes, and laughed at the silly story-lines. It all seemed like no big deal. It was "just sex," right? 
 
Watching porn wasn't that big of a deal for my friends (although one of them did become somewhat promiscuous in high school), but for me it was very different; it deeply affected me. I thought that the women in those porn movies were so glamorous, that they had everything I didn't. Beauty, money, and major sex appeal. I wanted to be one of those women. 
 
I also wanted my own porn so I could watch it privately and masturbate to it, instead of just laughing at it with my friends. So I stole one one of the Penthouse magazines of the step-dad of one of my friends, and I was instantly hooked. The images of hardcore sex and "sexy" naked women were irresistible to me, and I wanted more. I started going to the local liquor store and buying porn magazines. The store clerks never bothered to ask for I.D. They just seemed amused that a teenage girl was buying porn. 
 
I masturbated to these magazines every chance I had, and pretty soon I was masturbating entirely too much. It seemed normal to me at the time, though. I didn't have many friends, and the boys at school ignored me, so porn filled that void. Porn became my dream, my hobby, and eventually a big part of my identity. My only real goal in life was to be one of the naked women on display in those magazines and movies. Sad, right?
 
At first I could easily get off by just looking at a picture of a naked woman. Soon that wasn't enough, and I needed to see hardcore sex to get any feelings of arousal. It went from hardcore sex to needing to see things like anal sex, orgies, or gang bangs. By the time I was in my 20's, I had started watching the most degrading and abusive pornography that I could find, such as bukkake scenes with fifty or more men ejaculating all over a (often unhappy-looking) woman. 
 
I watched and masturbated to movies in the  "Girlvert" and "Meatholes" series, where the obvious goal was to humiliate and degrade the women involved. The disturbing thing was that I had been performing in porn for a few years myself by then, and I knew exactly the sort of cruelty, abuse and exploitation that went on behind the scenes. Yet I still watched and got off to these horribly  violent and misogynist forms of pornography. I even remember thinking many times (after I had gotten off), "I wouldn't want to work for this company. That's just too f**ked up!"
 
That's what makes me feel the worst now. That I myself didn't want to participate in extremely cruel and abusive porn movies like that, yet I had no problem masturbating to them. I justified this to myself the way that many porn addicts do: "Well she chose to do that bukkake scene," or "She should have just gotten up and quit." 
 
I knew better. If the women in these scenes "just got up and quit," they would have lost out on future work. The directors and performers involved would have told their friends about her walking out, and other companies wouldn't have bothered to hire her. Her agent would have gotten angry at her and might have even dropped her from the agency. She couldn't "just quit." I had been in situations like that, so I knew from first-hand experience. But still I watched these movies and masturbated to them, because that was the only porn at that point that could sexually excite me. I didn't enjoy doing it, but I felt that I couldn't stop watching it. 
 
I've seen the same thing happen to many people that watch porn. For instance, many of my webcam "clients" would get bored with the same old thing and would then start asking me to do more hardcore or degrading sex acts to "entertain" and arouse them. Watching me strip and talk dirty may have been enough for them at the beginning, but eventually they always needed something more hardcore or abusive in order to get off. 
 
I complained about guys like this to my friends and co-workers, but in private the sad truth was that I was behaving a lot like these men! It took me years to finally see the hypocrisy of it, and it wasn't until I finally quit the sex industry that I realized the severe problem that I had with being addicted to porn. 
 
How had I gone from looking at a simple naked pictures to watching the most degrading porn out there in order to get off? What was wrong with me? I was getting off on the sort of pornography that really hurt people, on the sort of pornography that had personally damaged me from performing in it for many years. 
 
My sexuality was completely based on porn. No wonder I had intimacy issues and low self-esteem. For the first time I realized that I had a problem. I thought about all of the awful experiences that I had had on porn sets, in strip clubs, and on webcam, and I decided that I was not going to be a part of the problem anymore. No more porn. I wasn't just done working in the sex industry, I was done with porn completely.
 
It was a lot harder than it sounds. I slipped up a few times, looking at magazines when I knew it was wrong. But somehow it was never the same. I could no longer lie to myself and pretend that it was no big deal. After masturbating to porn I now felt bad, and I knew that the degrading, abusive and inauthentic sex that was portrayed in porn was not something that I should be masturbating to, and it wasn't something that I shouldn't be taking any sort of pleasure from at all.
 
I didn't want to quit masturbating completely, so I started trying to do it without porn. It was difficult, because images from porn often popped into my head while masturbating. I had to consciously stop myself from thinking about porn, and replace those images with fantasies about more healthy scenarios, such as sex with a future boyfriend or husband. Instead of thinking about manufactured "porn sex," I had to re-train myself to think about authentic and natural sex the way it should be, between two people that care for each other. I had to be honest with myself, and every time that I thought of porn I made myself remember the truth of how it really was; harmful and damaging to me and so many others. 
 
The more that I consciously trained myself to think honestly about porn in that way, the less appeal it held for me. Now porn doesn't even turn me on. I tried masturbating to a porn magazine awhile ago, and all I could think of was how horrible my experience in porn had been, and how awful the women and the men in the pictures must have felt. I couldn't get aroused from it at all. That made me so happy. Maybe I did still have some empathy left! 
 
That is one of the biggest dangers of watching porn; it often starts out with something simple, (like masturbating to a topless woman), but it then turns into needing extreme and often abusive hardcore porn to feel any arousal at all. Once you start watching that sort of content and justifying it to yourself, where do you go from there? How much more hardcore will the porn have to be to continue to arouse you? Will sex with a real person ever "measure up?" I know that my porn watching fueled my promiscuity and made me seek out degrading sex, both in my personal life and "professionally" in the porn industry.
 
These circumstances in my life, combined with pressure from agents and directors, the need to prove how "hardcore" I was, and the need to compete with other women in the industry, were the reasons why I did sex acts that were physically and emotionally damaging to me and others. It's been difficult to be honest with myself about this, and to admit how unhealthy my behavior was, but it's really been so worth it. 
 
I'm taking a long break from sex now, and learning to interact with people in non-sexual ways. It's been amazing finding out that there's more to me than just the always "hot," "sexy," and eager for sex "porn star" persona, and that people respond more positively to the real authentic me. It's been even more amazing not having to look at degrading porn just to feel any arousal at all. I feel like I've been freed from a prison -- the prison of the sex industry; both from participating in it, and from consuming the "products" that it produces. 
 
Ultimately that's all the sex industry is for the consumers and the participants; a prison. It's so hard to get out of that prison, but once you do everything in your life improves significantly. It truly is possible to recover and to re-learn how to have healthy sexual fantasies and relationships, and to become your best and most authentic self. 
 
Please trust me when I say that doing the work to free yourself is so worth it! I should know. I learned the slow and painfully hard way -- from many sad and wasted years of experience that could been so much better spent doing so many other activities that would have been so much more fulfilling. 
 
But I have now emerged from that sad and fake darkness of shame and regret into the bright shining light of reality -- with purpose and a fulfilling new life of helping others that I am proud of and excited about. You can do this too, if you are struggling like I was. So I hope you will do yourself (and your present and future loved ones) a huge favor by joining me and moving forward towards self-respect and integrity. There is a much healthier and happier life waiting for you -- as soon as you choose to make the effort to claim it.
 
*Name changed to protect privacy

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For more information about women dealing with porn addiction, check out these articles and resources

NoFap Reddit Support Forum - over 700 of the 60,000 members are women, called "femstronauts"

Your Brain Rebalanced Forum Section for Women - both for women dealing with porn addiction and partners of addicts

Porn Problems: Here Come the Women - by Marnia Robinson of YourBrainOnPorn.com:

Pornography and Sex Addiction: Not Just a Man's Problem

Why More and More Women Are Using Pornography

Female Porn Addiction

Hope for Delilah: A healing space for female sex & "love" addicts/anorexics - a blog with many helpful resources listed for women struggling with porn, sex or love addiction or compulsion

For more information about the harms of pornography use and sex addiction in general, as well as resources to help those trying to quit using porn and those who are partners of porn and sex addicts, please see our page on pornography addiction and our PornAddictionHelp YouTube channel.

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Please feel free to read more of my writing about my life and my seven years in the sex industry, as well my writing about the overall harms of pornography, prostitution, stripping, sexual abuse and related issues. Click HERE.

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For more information about the documented harms of pornography please visit the extremely informative website Pornography Harms at PornHarms.com.  

"Dedicated to providing the most accurate peer-reviewed research on the harm from pornography, along with relevant news and opinion."  


This outstanding website comprehensively addresses the harms of pornography in regards to all of the following categories: addiction, brain science, children, cybersex, family, Internet, Internet safety, marriage, men, psychological, prostitution, relationships, research, self image, sex trafficking, sexting, sexual violence, societal, STDs, teens, and women.

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At AntiPornography.org we are working to prevent and combat the devastating harms of pornography, prostitution, sex trafficking and sexual slavery, as well as all other forms of sexual exploitation, through public education and advocacy. We are:
 
 
Anti-Censorship, Pro-Free Speech, Nonreligious, Anti-Banning

Anti-Sexism, Anti-Exploitation, Anti-Slavery, Anti-Violence ~

Pro-Education, Pro Safe, Healthy, Respectful, Equality-Based Sexuality 

Pro-reasonable regulation of the pornography industry for the health and safety of the performers.

*Please see FAQ for more information on all of the above.  Thank you!

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RESOURCES, FRIENDS, SUPPORTERS AND ALLIES:

NOTE: All those marked with * are friends, subscribers or followers of AntiPornography.org at Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, or one of our other social networking websites, or have demonstrated support for our work otherwise, such as providing content for this website or linking to us or to one of our blogs and/or social networking projects. Also please note that the below list is a work in progress and that it is not complete. Please share any errors, omissions or suggestions here. Thank you!


WOMEN AND GIRLS FOCUSED RESOURCES:  

(For family, children, men and addiction focused resources, please scroll down.)

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ANTI-PORNOGRAPHY ORGANIZATIONS GROUPS AND WEBSITES:  

*Culture Reframed      Pornography FAQ      *ResistPorn Culture (UK)     No Porn Pledge     *Against Pornography

*Anti-Porn Feminists (Anti-Porn London)    Men Against Porn / Prostitution / Patriarchy     *The Violence of Pornography (Graphic) 

  *No Porn Northampton    Playboy: Talkin' Trash     *Girls Against Porn      Bin the Bunny      Stop Patriarchy

*JoinPornBusters YouTube Channel    The Price of Pleasure Documentary Film Website  

*Come Back From Your Fantasy (Sex-Positive Anti-Porn Feminist Tumblr, by young feminist Kelsey Ruane)

*Make Love Not Porn (Not technically anti-porn but shows differences of porn vs. real life.)

Somebody's Daughter   *Fight the New Drug  *pornTRUTH   

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'ANTI-PORNOGRAPHY ACTIVIST INDIVIDUALS, AUTHORS AND FILMMAKERS:  
 
 
 
 

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ANTI-PROSTITUTION/TRAFFICKING/SEXUAL EXPLOITATION/ABUSE SITES, ETC:
 
 
The above channels are AntiPornography.org pjts with MANY videos & helpful resources! 
 
 
 

Polaris Project     Breaking Free     SAGE (Standing Against Global Exploitation)  

The Lola Green Baldwin Foundation    Stop Demand Foundation  Genderberg

*SCASE (Scottish Coalition Against Sexual Exploitation)    Our Voices Matter   

*CAASE  (Chicago Coalition against Sexual Exploitation)  StopTraffickingDemand.com

*BSCC (Bilateral Safety Corridor Coalition)  Beauty from Ashes   *Not for Sale Campaign 

New York Anti-Trafficking Coalition   Coalition for Action on Sexism and True Equality

*Is There Something I Can Do?  *StAT (Stand Against Trafficking)  *Stop Slavery Here

*Artists United for Social Justice  Freedom & Justice Center (For Prostitution Resources)

Donna M. Hughes, PhD  (Dignity List)   Chicago Coalition for the Homeless  

Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault    Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault

California Coalition Against Sexual Assault 

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FEMINIST, WOMEN & GIRLS ADVOCATE ORGANIZATIONS & GROUPS, ETC:

*Equality Now    *The F-Word    *Off Our Backs     *Women for Women International

     *Global Fund for Women  *London Feminist Network  *Feminist.com

*The National Organization for Women (NOW)    Feminist Majority Foundation  (FMF)

*Feminist Campus   Ms. Magazine  *Safe World 4 Women   *Women's Law Society

*WomensLaw.org   *U.S. Department of State's Office of Global Women's Issues  

*SIGI.org  *GlobalSister.org  FeministGifts.com  *The Date Safe Project  *VAWNet  

*No Statute of Limitations   *RAINN (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network) 

*The National Domestic Violence Hotline  *Guard Yourself Now  *UK Feminista

Chicago Foundation for Women    *The Women's Media Center  The F-Files

*Free Girl Foundation  *Girls Fight Back   *The Girl Effect   *Girls for Gender Equity   

*Girl Fest Hawaii   *Rain & Thunder    Daughters of the Sun - A Youth Leader Project

*Biting Beaver  *No Excuses / No Mercy   *RadFem Hub
 
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MEN AGAINST SEXISM, VIOLENCE, SEXUAL EXPLOITATION  & ABUSE, ETC.

NOMAS (National Organization of Men Against Sexism )    *Men Can Stop Rape     *My Strength Campaign  

*Men Stopping Violence      *A Call to Men UK       *The White Ribbon Campaign (CA)  

  *Reclaiming Sex From XXX       *Byron Hurt       Jackson Katz   

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MEDIA, FREE SPEECH, & OTHER ORGANIZATIONS, GROUPS & SITES:

 *Media Education Foundation Women's Institute for Freedom of the Press

Miboda Agency

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MESSAGE BOARDS AND FORUMS FOR HELP, INFORMATION & SUPPORT:

There are MANY anti-porn groups and pages at Facebook.
 
Just search GROUPS and PAGES for "anti-porn," "antiporn," "anti-pornography" & "antipornography" and similar terms.
 
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FAMILY, CHILDREN, MEN & ADDICTION FOCUSED RESOURCES:   

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ANTI-PORNOGRAPHY ORGANIZATIONS, GROUPS, AND WEBSITES: 

*National Center on Sexual Exploitation      *Pornography Harms      *Enough Is Enough      ProtectKids.com     

*Pornversations - College tour of an ex porn performer and an ex porn addict    Protect Young Minds

 National Law Center  for Children and Families    *Traffic Control, the Movie     Maryland Coalition Against Pornography   

It's Time We Talked      Utah Coalition Against Pornography       BraveHearts       Diamond Heart Foundation

Report Online Child Pornography/Exploitation at CyberTipLine.com or 1-800-843-5678

*Darkness 2 Light    *XXX Church    Department of Justice  ThePornTalk.com  

Social Costs of PornographyConference Videos   Papers   Report of Findings

*Safe Eyes (InternetSafety.com)  *Convenant Eyes   Internet Filter Review     *Women for Decency     AntiChildPorn.org

Say No to Pornography Pakistan - Let's Wage a War Against Pornography Blogspot

Canadians Addressing Sexual Exploitation  (C.A.S.E.) (Canada)

CANADA - List of other anti-pornography and related Canadian organizations

(Scroll down on above link to get to the list of organizations)

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ANTI-PORNOGRAPHY ACTIVIST INDIVIDUALS, AUTHORS, AND THERAPISTS:  

*Pat Trueman  (Founder of Pornography Harms) Pamela Paul  (Author of "Pornified")

Dr. Jill C. Manning (Author:"What's the Big Deal about Pornography? A Guide for the Internet Generation")

Dr. Judith Reisman   *Dr. Robi Sonderegger

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ANTI-PROSTITUTION/TRAFFICKING/SEXUAL EXPLOITATION/ABUSE SITES, ETC:  

*Shared Hope International     Free the Slaves

*IJM Institute (International Justice Mission)   *Global Centurion   *Live2free

*ECPAT - USA (End Child Prostitution & Trafficking)  *Beyond Borders (ECPATCanada)

*T-Stop (Texas Sex Trafficking Obliteration Project)   *Love146 NYC Task Force

*End Slavery NT (End Slavery in Tennessee and Beyond)   *Chab Dai Coalition

*Justice and Care (South Asia)  *Rock Against Slavery   End Demand

Overexposed, the Movie   Call and Response, the Movie    *Nowhere2Hide

CASEY (Community Against Sexual Exploitation of Youth. Canada)   

 
 

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OTHER RELATED ORGANIZATIONS, GROUPS, WEBSITES & CAUSES:

*Parents Television Council   *Web Wise Kids   *InternetSafety.com

*ClearInternational   *Cyber Safety Book  (Ken Knapton)   *Optenet PC

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PORNOGRAPHY ADDICTION AND COMPULSION HELP AND SUPPORT:  

*PornAddictionHelp YouTube Channel - AntiPornography.org project with MANY videos & resources!

*Inner Gold    *Fight the New Drug   *Compulsion Solutions   The Mindful Habit

*Porn Game Over    MeadowCrest   Your Brain on Porn    HealthySex.com (Wendy Maltz)   Reboot Nation

Sexual Recovery Institute    *Just Be Well    *No-Porn.com  No-Porn.com Message Board

*Impulse Treatment Center (Sex Addict Treatment - Don L. Matthews)   *Covenant Eyes   *Stepping Inward

*Mindful Recovery   My Porn Addiction Story - Porn Addiction Help from a Former Addict

Porn Addicts Anonymous  Porn & Relationships Q&A (By "Porn Trap's'" Wendy Maltz)  Addicted to Internet Porn

Porn Addict Hubby  (Relationship Rescue for Wives & Girlfriends of Internet Porn Addicts)

Partners of Sex Addicts Resource Center    The Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health (SASH)

Don't Reward Bad Behaviour - Guidance for Partners of Porn Addicts  Desert Solace

Petra Bueskens of PPMD Therapy (Australia)   PPMD Therapy Facebook   Guilty Pleasure

QuitPorn Group Text Hotline - "To become a member and join our group text community, start by texting QUITPORN to 23559"  Twitter: @QuitPornHotline  YouTube: QuitPornTextHotline

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LOOKING FOR A SEX OR PORN ADDICTION THERAPIST OR COUNSELOR? 

Check out this very helpful directory of over 1,000 entries in the United States!

http://www.abattleplan.com/counselors-therapists-sex-addiction-directory/

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ACCOUNTABILITY SOFTWARE:

Saavi Accountability -- The only online accountability program that works with all online addictions. It is also the only program that sends notifications instantly via text message to an accountability partner so that they can be supportive when an individual needs it the most at the point of weakness, while they are accessing the online content. The software was created by a young man (26) who overcame his addiction and is trying to help others.  

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ADDICTION MESSAGE BOARDS & DISCUSSION FORUMS FOR HELP & SUPPORT:

No-Porn.com Message Board

Porn Addict Hubby Discussion Board  (For Wives & Girlfriends of Internet Porn Addicts)

NOTE: There are MANY anti-porn and porn addiciton discussion groups and pages at Facebook.

Just search GROUPS and PAGES for "porn addiction", "pornography addiction", "sex addiction", "anti-porn," "antiporn," "anti-pornography" & "antipornography"

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For more than 50 personal stories documenting the harms of compulsive and/or excessive pornography use and/or pornography addiction please see our "Porn Harm Stories" page.  Thank you.

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NEED HELP WITH PORN ADDICTION?

CHECK OUT THE MINDFUL HABIT!

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OTHER HELPFUL FAQs & Q&As: (By other anti-pornography organizations, etc) 

*Gail Dines Q&A     *Against Pornography FAQ    Pornography FAQ - By Pro-feminist Michael Lovan

  *Shelley Lubben Q&A (Ex-Porn Star)    Prostitution FAQ at Genderberg      Fight the New Drug FAQ   

(Note: The No Porn Northampton FAQ is in the bottom half of their sidebar. In addition to the usual questions about pornography it addresses questions and concerns about activism against sexually oriented businesses such as "adult bookstores.")

AntiPornography.org's "Frequently Asked Questions & Responses to Pro-Pornography Arguments"

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Shared Hope International specifically focuses on fighting the demand for commercial sexual exploitaiton, including addressing pornography as a very significant demand factor for sex trafficking. 

Please see their excellent report on this issue:

Pornography: Creating Demand for International Sex Trafficking

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"Pornography is a marketing device for sex trafficking: It normalizes degradation and violence as acceptable and even inevitable parts of sex, and uses the bodies of real women and children as objects. The difference between pornography and erotica is clear in the roots of the words themselves -- porne means females slaves, eros means love -- so pornography, like rape, is about violence and domination, not sex. Millions of lives depend on our ability to separate pornography from erotica, and to disentangle violence from sexuality."

Gloria Steinem, 2006

For information about Gloria Steinem's important work of fighting against the harms of pornography, sex trafficking and other forms of sexual exploitation and abuse, including videos and an audio interview, please see our page on Gloria Steinem. Click here.

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For more information on how pornography fuels prostitution and sex trafficking, please see our page on Pornography and Trafficking.  Click here.  Thank you!

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YOUR HELP IS NEEDED. PLEASE DONATE IF YOU ARE ABLE TO.

Please remember that it is not up to AntiPornography.org, the other organizations listed on this page, the government, or "someone else" to do the entire job of fighting against the devastating harms of pornography, prostitution, trafficking, and other forms of sexual exploitation or abuse. It is an enormous job and the responsibility lies with each and every one of us to do our part as part of the bigger team of those who are choosing to be part of the solution of creating a more just and humane world for everyone, rather than be part of the problem.

So thank you in advance for whatever you are able to contribute to the cause, whether in the form of a tax-deductible donation or your actions. What you do does matter, so for the sake of all those across the world who are being exploited and abused, and for the sake of the future of humanity, please do what you can to create a more compassionate and safer society for all.

Thank you for whatever you are able to give or do to help create a better world for everyone, especially for women, children and future generations.

 YOUR SUPPORTIVE ACTIONS & YOUR DONATIONS ARE VERY MUCH APPRECIATED. 

THEY CAN AND WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

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THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT! IT'S VERY MUCH APPRECIATED AND REALLY MAKES A DIFFERENCE!

 

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