LIFEalerts – Sexual Exploitation

Sexual Exploitation

USA – Investigation finds TikTok exposes children to inappropriate material 

According to an investigation by The Wall Street Journal, the video-sharing platform TikTok shows underage accounts thousands of videos depicting drugs, pornography and sexual content, and alcohol use, including over 100 videos promoting pornography subscription services and sex products. Investigators set up 31 fake TikTok accounts registered to users between the ages of 13 and 15 and studied their “For You” feeds, which consist of videos recommended to users by TikTok’s suggestion algorithm. The investigation took over several months. One particular account, registered to a 13-year-old, was shown at least 569 videos related to drug use, including meth and cocaine addiction. Another account was recommended videos depicting role-playing sexual content until 90% of the account’s feed consisted of videos related to bondage, sadomasochism, and other sexual practices.  127

TikTok responded admitting that they don’t separate content intended for adult users from content safe for children but were looking into technology that would filter out adult content for underage users. Apple was the subject of a similar investigation last month that found its App Store had few controls in place preventing minors from accessing adult hookup apps and apps with sexual content. An investigation released in June by the Human Trafficking Institute found that 59% of sex-trafficking victims were recruited through Facebook. More

USA – Nevada makes sexual exploitation ‘Dirty Dozen List’ again

The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) announced that the State of Nevada is once again on its Dirty Dozen List of mainstream contributors to sexual exploitation.   The State, Nevada Legislature, and Governor were the defendants in a now dismissed lawsuit brought by a pair of women who were trafficked from Texas into Nevada’s illegal sex industry, the largest of any state. Nevada is a hub for sex trafficking. “Legalized brothels in Nevada have proven to be a failed experiment,” the 2021 Dirty Dozen list reads. Evidence shows that a legalized sex trade increases demand from sex buyers and therefore increases sex trafficking as exploiters try to satisfy the market. Survivors are exposing the ugly truth about life behind brothel doors. By legalizing brothels, Nevada is profiting from sexual exploitation and abuse—just like any other pimp.” More

South Africa – More than half of SA’s prostitute’s victims of rape, study finds

A study looked at the violence experienced by a sample pool of 3 000 female prostitutes in the country. The study found that 70% had experienced violence, while 57.9% had been raped. The study was conducted by the South African Medical Research Council and the Perinatal HIV Research Unit. The study followed a 2016 pilot in Soweto conducted among female prostitutes. It showed that prostitutes were extremely vulnerable to violence, mental health problems and, worryingly, signs of HIV drug resistance.” In the past year, 70.4% of female prostitutes experienced physical violence, and 57.9% were raped: by policemen (14.0%), clients (48.3%), other men (30.2%) and/or an intimate partner (31.9%),” the study found. It said: Sexual intimate partner violence was associated with food insecurity, entering prostitution as a child, childhood trauma exposure, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), drinking alcohol to cope with prostitution, working more days, partner controlling behaviour, having an ex-client partner, and having no current partner to protect from ex-partners.  Dr Jenny Coetzee, the principal investigator of the study, said it had put numbers to the high levels of violence experienced by prostitutes and that, because of the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, there would likely be an increase in the number of people engaging in “survival-type” prostitution. “It is vital that prostitution programmes are properly resourced; so that they can help protect prostitutes from violence … There has been a lot of research showing what needs to be done to help prostitutes. Now we need committed resources to protect this vulnerable group of women,” Coetzee said. More