Post by: Jennifer Reinkober
I began working at the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) approximately two weeks ago as a legal research intern, and I have already been deeply impacted by the important work the Center does. NCOSE’s mission is to expose the links between all forms of sexual exploitation, including prostitution, child sexual abuse, sex trafficking, and pornography.
The Center recently held their annual Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation Global Summit from June 12-15 in Herndon, Virginia, which brought together stakeholders from the movement from both the United States and across the globe. This included service providers, survivors, and legal representatives who presented on a wide variety of topics, including ways to stop sexual exploitation by approaching it with cutting edge legal tactics and strategies as well as discussions with international representatives who are dealing with the same issues in their countries.
Prostitution is one of NCOSE’s focus areas because of blatant sexual exploitation inherent to prostitution. In addition to the extreme physical, mental, and emotional trauma endured by most in the sex industry, many find their way into the prostitution marketplace as a result of extreme childhood trauma or force, fraud, or coercion; few make informed free choices to enter the industry. As Lisa Thompson, Vice President of Education and Outreach for the Center has written on the NCOSE website, “Overwhelmingly, the persons purchased for sex are women (but also include male and female children, transgendered males, and prostituting men), and those doing the purchasing are men. Without question, the vast majority of physical and sexual violence inflicted on those in the sex trade is perpetrated by those purchasing persons for sex—the sex buyers.” https://endsexualexploitation.org/prostitution/
During my time at NCOSE, I will be working on model legislation addressing the issue of prostitution, specifically legislation that prioritizes services and help for prostituted persons and shifts legal pressure against those who are buyers or sex or third-party sellers such as traffickers and pimps. It is important that state and federal legislators understand the terrible impact which prostitution has on some of our country’s most vulnerable persons. I am proud to be part of NCOSE’s efforts in advocating for those affected by sexual exploitation and human trafficking.
This post was written by a Center for Global Justice Intern. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect those of Regent University, Regent Law School, or the Center for Global Justice.