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Center for Global Justice Student Staff Members Attend Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation Summit

By September 16, 2015Student Staff
On September 10-12, 2015, six of our student staff members had the opportunity to attend the 2nd Annual Coalition To End Sexual Exploitation 2015 Summit.

Two student staff members shared some of their thoughts following the conference:

Pornography. Some people believe it is taboo. Others say it is part of our culture and accept it. And others say it is a public health crisis that has gripped America. The latter position was advocated at the Coalition To End Sexual Exploitation 2015 Summit. Leaders from around the world met in Orlando, Florida, to discuss, learn, and combat the harmful effects of pornography in our society. Did you know that 8% of America’s youth have been exposed to porn by the age of 9, and by 13, 77% of our youth have been exposed? The psychological scars that pornography leaves on our children run just as deep as any physical scars from drug addiction. Pornography’s devastating effects have changed our society’s view of intimacy, have destroyed marriages, and have contributed to human trafficking. Do you still think it is taboo, or are you ready to stand up and say no to porn?

Prostitution and Trafficking
A number of  organizations  are pushing for the legalization of prostitution. These organizations  repeatedly ignore that the legalization of prostitution makes it easier for sex traffickers to traffic women and children.  Traffickers bring women to places where prostitution is legal and outsiders think, “well, she chose to get into that line of work.” However, even if the woman was not trafficked, no woman “chooses” to be a prostitute. No little girl dreams of being used for sex and/or abused as an adult. Also, legalizing prostitution allows men to play out their abusive fantasies (many of which are learned by watching pornography) without being punished, and this simply  because the woman was paid.
Other organizations, such as Operation Underground,  rescue women and children in countries where prostitution is legal. Remember, just because prostitution is legal doesn’t mean that it is a victimless crime. Women and children are constantly being trafficked and forced into prostitution, and unfortunately, many of these victims are not seen as victims simply because prostitution is legal. 
Importance of Language 
John. A “John” is what we call a man who buys sex. Calling these men “John(s)” makes them more personable – John becomes someone you might know. John could be your brother, neighbor, or even your pastor. Therefore, when “John” buys sex, his crime becomes more easily forgivable. Instead of thinking about the disgusting crime this man has committed we ask, “what about his family?” 
Many of the speakers at the summit spoke of the importance of language. We were advised to stop using the term “child pornography” and call it what it really is — child-sex-abuse material. People who buy sex should not be referred to as “Johns” but as “buyers”. Let us make a decision to stop softening the blow and call things and people exactly what they are! Word choices reflect changes in cultural values; and our laws are a reflection society’s values. Let’s be intentional about the language we use.
Videos from the summit can be found at

Thanks to student staff members Natasha Delille and Michael Aiello for sharing their thoughts!