Until now, there has been no voice in the courts and legislatures advocating for human dignity and against all forms of sexual abuse and exploitation. In the vacuum of a national legal strategy on these issues, pro-sexual exploitation lobbyists have stepped in to promote radical and damaging legislation and legal precedents promoting pornography, prostitution, sexually grooming children for abuse, increasing sex trafficking, and more.
Laws are meant to instruct citizens in virtue.
But, what are its lessons when . . .
In such circumstances, the lack of laws or failure to enforce existing laws licenses abuse, privileges the rights of the strong over the weak and vulnerable, affirms the notion of sexual entitlement and the dystopian vision of sex as a mere commodity, and proclaims that human dignity is cheap and disposable.
Against this backdrop, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) believed it imperative to establish a Law Center to stand as both a sentry and bulwark against the destructive individuals and entities that deny or which facilitate sexual abuse and exploitation.
At the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE), we believe law is the greatest tool to defend human dignity against sex trafficking, pornography, child sexual abuse, and more. It sets social norms, punishes exploiters, and gives justice to survivors.
The NCOSE Law Center is an advocate to intervene in key, precedent-setting cases and speaks up in our state and federal legislatures to impact policy for those who have no voice.
The NCOSE Law Center empowers citizens to improve their states and communities through model legislation on issues like pornography, illicit massage parlors, combating the demand for sex trafficking and prostitution, and more.
The NCOSE Law Center also mentors and trains future lawyers and trains prosecutors to ensure a future generation of legal advocates who know how to best help victims and shape legislation that respects human safety and flourishing.
Most people are shocked to discover that Federal law prohibits the distribution of obscene (hardcore) adult pornography on the Internet, on cable/satellite TV, on hotel/motel TV, in retail shops, through the mail, and by common carrier.
The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld obscenity laws against First Amendment challenges, explaining that obscenity is not protected speech, similar to other forms of unprotected speech like blackmail, defamation, or child pornography.
Even so, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) refuses to enforce existing federal obscenity laws over fears that it will be unpopular.
Because obscenity laws have not been enforced, we have seen a dramatic rise in illegal pornography production and distribution in the last decade. The NCOSE Law Center is advocating in the Department of Justice to uphold the rule of law, and stop illegal pornography distribution.[MOU1]
We believe children should be able to grow and learn about intimacy, relationships, and love without the devastating influence of pornography which eroticizes violence and warps neurological development.
That is why the NCOSE Law Center is pioneering tactics in order to:
When most people think about ending sex trafficking and prostitution, they think about + rescuing the women and children being abused in these systems. And while these efforts are important, far fewer people think about ending the demand (i.e., going after and preventing the men who buy people for sex.)
It’s a simple truth: if people stopped buying sex today, sex trafficking would disappear.
Unfortunately, our nations laws are not adequately combating the demand for sex trafficking and prostitution. As a result, the cycle of abuse and harm continues year after year, and whenever one victim is saved, more are groomed and brought into the commercial sexual exploitation market to take her place. The way this movement has been operating with a focus mostly on victims, the issue of sex trafficking will never be solved. We want to stop that cycle.
That is why the NCOSE Law Center is pioneering a movement in the courts in order to:
Child-on-child sexual abuse is on the rise with approximately 20% of all arrests for child sexual abuse being a child. Our courts and mental health systems are drastically ill-prepared to deal with this growing problem. Yet, it will only grow worse if society allows hardcore pornography to go unchecked as many youth simply act out on other children what they see adults doing in porn. We cannot treat these youth who are often victims themselves as we do adult perpetrators of child sexual abuse, yet that is what our current system does. NCOSE is here to advocate and update our legal system for all who are impacted by youth with harmful sexual behavior.
Sexually Oriented Businesses (SOBs) like strip clubs and illicit massage parlors are increasingly popping up in communities, large and small. Sex trafficking, prostitution, child sexual abuse, violence against women are all taking place within their walls and frequently spilling out into the rest of the community. Local communities are ill-prepared to address them, and the NCOSE Law Center is there to provide tactical and strategic support to keep communities free of these exploitive businesses.
Rights for victims of sexual assault are stripped away by corporate contracts companies hide in fine print when customers agree to their terms and services. While a number of major companies have such policies, one example is Massage Envy which has over 400 reports of sexual assault pending against them and their massage therapists, despite a clause that stops most reports from moving forward. Current terms often force customers to waive their right to bring claims or legal action against companies even when claims are alleged on intentional or negligent wrongdoing on part of company employees. NCOSE’s legal and advocacy teams will change this gross misconduct of justice.
Revenge pornography is a growing trend where individuals will share sexually explicit images or videos of someone in an effort to extort or publicly shame them. Our nation’s laws have not caught up to this trend, leaving, especially, many of our young people to endure extreme trauma, shame, and exploitation. The NCOSE Law Center will advocate for better legislation to protect victims.
“Upskirting” is a term for when someone takes pictures up or down another person’s clothes in public in order to see their private regions. Unbelievably, many states do not have laws against this growing trend, and one lawmaker is even on record saying that women do not have a right to privacy under their clothes if they go out in public. The NCOSE Law Center is here to update the laws and to ensure women’s right to privacy from this manifestation of sexual voyeurism.
Sexual harassment and assault in transportation is a growing problem that many victims and even employees think nothing can be done about. Passengers on planes, trains, and boats are often vulnerable to predators who get away with aggressive touching and comments, exposing themselves discreetly performing sex acts, or forcing nearby passengers to be exposed to hardcore pornography. NCOSE is harnessing the reports of victims to finally force legal and corporate policy updates to help all traveling to have a safe space free from sexual exploitation. VHS.
Statement by Dawn Hawkins, Executive Director of NCOSE Washington, DC – On July 9, The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing with twelve senators and a packed room on the topic of “Protecting Innocence in a Digital World” in order to talk about the predatory targeting, grooming, sex trafficking, hardcore pornography, and more that makes…Read More >
Washington, DC – The Senate today passed FOSTA-SESTA by a vote of 97-2. The legislative package included H.R. 1865 the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA), sponsored by Rep. Ann Wagner, and an amendment sponsored by Rep. Mimi Walters which incorporated the vital reforms contained in S. 1693 the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA), sponsored…Read More >
In January, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation submitted an amicus brief to the Georgia Supreme Court urging the court to uphold a statute criminalizing obscene Internet contact with minors. This statute is vital to protecting children from sexual predators in the digital age but was facing a First Amendment challenge. The American Center for Law…Read More >
Montana just became the 15th state to pass a resolution recognizing the public health harms of pornography! Similar to tobacco in the 1950s, research & science have caught up with the harmful impacts of a pervasive industry. That is why the National Center on Sexual Exploitation authored the model resolution that formally recognizes the impacts…Read More >
For the last two years, the Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation Global Summit has included a “Day on the Hill” where leaders in the anti-exploitation movement descend on DC and visit every U.S. Congressional office with a message of abolition! The day begins with trainings on advocacy and public policy, then participants file onto buses…Read More >
Rebekah Charleston was sex trafficked in Nevada’s system of legal brothels and is now seeking to hold the state of Nevada responsible for protecting the sex trade and enabling slavery. When you legalize prostitution, it creates a market for the sale of humans. That market then quickly expands as driven up by demand — a.k.a…Read More >
The passage of FOSTA-SESTA in 2018 was a major legislative victory for survivors of sex trafficking. It gave survivors a route to justice by providing a civil right of action. It also empowered state Attorney Generals to prosecute websites that facilitate sex trafficking. Furthermore, its impact on the online commercial sexual exploitation landscape was immediate…Read More >
Washington, DC (May 7, 2020) – The National Center on Sexual Exploitation Law Center filed a joint Amicus Brief with the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in support of the federal government’s efforts to stop Backpage.com founders from trying to steal ill-gotten profits that would prevent its sex trafficked victims from recovering compensation. The…Read More >
The infamous story of Backpage.com’s exploitation and trafficking of women and children is fairly well known at this point. What is little known, however, is the raging battle being waged in the courts to prevent Backpage’s erstwhile former owners from absconding with millions of dollars in illegal profits made from their now-shuttered sex business. The…Read More >
Is there any kind of pornography that is congruent with feminism? Is it possible for pornography to be feminist? In spite of the research and data that provide a resounding “no,” some porn apologists still attempt to say otherwise. “Any kind of porn can be feminist if everyone involved is having a good time,” one…Read More >
Sexual exploitation is a tragedy whenever and wherever it occurs. One of the pernicious realities of sexual exploitation is that it does not stop, not even during a global health crisis like the novel coronavirus pandemic of 2020. Not only do sexually exploitative industries, companies, and individuals not stop during crisis, they often try to…Read More >