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Two New Survivors of Child Rape on Pornhub Come Forward


Here is the definition of irony:

The size of the audience watching and/or downloading your rape on Pornhub: hundreds of thousands.

The size of the audience who knows your story: zero.

Your body is on display for mass consumption, but your voice is locked away.

This is the reality for many victims of rape, sex trafficking, assault, and other forms of abuse posted on tube sites like Pornhub.

One of the most significant challenges to getting a survivor story heard by society is the great cost survivors must pay when they go public with their stories. They face severe verbal attacks, threats, are accused of lying, their livelihood is damaged, and sometimes worse. We know one survivor whose treasured pet was intentionally killed by those who wanted to silence her. The fact that those who’ve already suffered unthinkable levels of abuse must then suffer the scourge of compassionless, hate-filled members of society is a tragic indictment against our world.

Still, there are courageous survivors who gather the strength to come forth, and it’s critical that we take the time to hear what they have to say, bearing in mind the great personal risk they are taking in sharing their story.

Recently, two new survivors of child rape came forward to expose the abuse they suffered and how that tramua was immortalized by Pornhub, and used for Pornhub’s profit. Both of these young survivors chose to release their stories anonymously on Medium, to maintain at least some level of protection from those who would come against them, and we are grateful for their bravery.

Just days ago, a user who goes by the name “butterflies and rare” published a chilling account of multiple abuses they suffered. They write:

“…I was sixteen. I’d snuck out for a night of (irresponsible) drinking. I thought it would be fun. I don’t recall much of how it happened—I don’t know if maybe I’d drunk too much or if someone had slipped me something. But I know exactly what happened. Because I watched it. I woke up the next morning and found a video of my sexual assault in my camera roll. I know I hadn’t started filming—my hands were nowhere near my phone throughout the whole thing. One of them had forcefully tied my hands behind my back, so I can’t have done [it]. I also found the Dropbox app on there—signed out, of course; except I didn’t have a Dropbox account.

What happened was already enough to hurt. But I could never have envisioned what happened next. The videos got uploaded to the internet. To more sites than I care to think about. Except, one sticks out like a sore thumb—TraffickingHub.

Someone in an office sat in front of a computer screen [and] got to choose whether my pain and suffering was valid enough for them… I don’t know why the tears in my eyes and the cries of “no” before I was gagged wasn’t enough. I don’t know why saying “I was raped” wasn’t enough for them. But apparently it wasn’t.

It was the smaller sites that took it down when I asked. One by one, these videos were suspended and Page 404’d, with support tickets being left open in case it was re-uploaded. Me simply contacting them and telling them ‘it’s me and I didn’t consent’ was enough for them. Except for the infamous PornHub, home of trafficking and paedophilia galore. The site where the comments on my videos basked in the glory of my torture.

I contacted their support. And they removed the first video, for which I am grateful. But removing the second video was an absolute whirlwind.

I reached out to them independently initially. I explained what had happened and that I wanted it removed, I didn’t consent and I was underage. They blatantly refused to do such a thing. They weren’t sure if my abuse and torture was illegitimate. Someone in an office sat in front of a computer screen [and] got to choose whether my pain and suffering was valid enough for them. And that stung like absolute hell. Someone who wasn’t there got to determine whether I was abused or not. And they decided there was nothing wrong with it. I don’t know why the tears in my eyes and the cries of ‘no’ before I was gagged wasn’t enough. I don’t know why saying ‘I was raped’ wasn’t enough for them. But apparently it wasn’t.

I had to get lawyers involved to take down the video. And even then, the battle didn’t seem like it would end. It nearly reached the point where my best option would’ve been to copyright the video and then DMCA it. And, in my eyes, it speaks absolute volumes that TraffickingHub care more about DMCAs than victims of revenge porn. They don’t care about victims; they only care about money. They profit off the adverts and only remove videos when DMCA’d to avoid a lawsuit. PornHub are an inhuman company designed only to make money, irregardless of who they hurt in the process.

They also prolonged my torture with the rampant, unmoderated comments. I had to change my social media usernames after someone in the comments shared my accounts and my mobile number. Their inability to moderate comments or at bare minimum filter identifying information gave my abuser the direct chance to call me. Picking up my iPhone, swiping to answer the ‘No Caller ID’ and hearing his voice was one of the most painful experiences of my life. Every fear and emotion I’d had was right there in my ear.”*

This story strongly corroborates Rose Kalemba’s story, in which she too was an underage teenage victim of rape whose video Pornhub REFUSED to take down after being repeatedly asked. This is not simply an issue of having an insufficient number of moderators. In both cases, Pornhub was well aware of the videos and chose to ignore the pleas of the victims—until legal action was threatened.

It’s also worth noting that the other sites where the videos were posted took them down quickly. Some try to defend Pornhub by saying they’re no different than any other platform that allows user-generated content. This testimony, among many others—like Rose Kalemba’s—demonstrates that Pornhub alone willfully fights to keep content like this on their site as long as possible, where it can rack up as many views as possible. There’s an undeniable pattern in how the world’s largest porn site treats abusive content.

“Butterflies and rare” concludes by saying:

“I would like to thank Laila Mickelwait and the many activists that spread information on #TraffickingHub. Please, please research the truth behind this company and the legitimacy of the pornographic content you consume.”

We honor this survivor’s brave voice!

About two weeks ago, “Sofia” also went public with her story of abuse as a child.

“‘I am a survivor of child trafficking’ [is] a sentence I’ve put off saying for a very long time. I didn’t consider myself a victim because I didn’t know anything different. As a 9-year-old, I thought I was just helping mommy and daddy. As a child, I had always been taught to not question my parents, to be seen and not heard, that as a girl I was nothing more than a inconvenience, that I needed to help my parents pay the bills because that’s the least I could do.

I used to spend hours reading the comments, people asking how much a night with me would cost.

My suffering did not end with those who had the power to use me, it continued—but this time through a screen. Videos of my assaults and videos of me being forced to dance and strip began popping up on the popular tube site Pornhub. In some of them I was as young as 9, in others I was 15. I didn’t know what to do. I remember sitting in front of my phone and watching the view count go up. I used to spend hours reading the comments, people asking how much a night with me would cost.

I became so desensitized I stopped caring that videos continued to get uploaded. They would get deleted then a couple of days later they would get re-uploaded, or new ones would pop up. Some of the titles of the videos that continued to be uploaded to Pornhub were “Young girl begging to stop,” “Screaming teen gets pounded,” “Barely legal getting choked,” “Sexy brunette forced to strip”—some of the videos were reuploaded 6 times.

I’m telling my story because I don’t want anyone to go through and feel the way I did. I thought if I spoke up everyone would think I was a liar—I don’t care anymore. To anyone that’s gone through something similar: I’m with you, I see you, and I believe you. It is not our fault and those who monetized and downloaded our trauma need to be held accountable.

Pornhub needs to answer for their mistakes, they need to be shut down. They’ve had countless opportunities to address and fix their mistakes but they have continued to brush of[f] complaints and ignore victims, mistakes that have ruined not only my life but countless others. It’s time they take responsibility for their actions and get their platform taken from them.”*

RELATED: How Pornhub Makes Trafficking Easy

In Sofia’s post, she also includes a screenshot from one of the videos on Pornhub, revealing the videos tagged with terms like “teen,” “crying,” and “small.” Her tragic story inspires many questions. For one, how is it that a platform which claims to use “fingerprinting” software to prevent previously banned uploads allows a video to be uploaded six different times?

And after the first video was discovered, one in which Sofia says she was only nine years old, how were the perpetrators able to continue uploading criminal content? If the authorities had been notified upon the discovery of this first video, perhaps she could’ve been spared years of increasing abuse. But as Pornhub doesn’t require proof of age or consent for uploading content, it’s no wonder she was never rescued.

The untold numbers of people who pleasured themselves using the rape of these two precious lives may never know their stories. But those of us who have heard their stories, and those of countless others, are listening. We’re sharing them with anyone who will listen and we’re demanding justice on their behalf. And we will continue to elevate their voices till we reach that critical mass of awareness—the point at which society, lawmakers, and other cultural power-holders refuse to allow Pornhub, and its parent company MindGeek, to operate any longer.

With nearly two million signatures on the petition to shut down Pornhub and over 30 million views on the Traffickinghub video exposing their crimes, we’re getting there. Still, we need everyone’s voice, YOUR voice, to join the growing chorus of voices, and the growing mass of survivors, in calling for Pornhub to be shut down once and for all.

With your help we can shut down Pornhub. Click below to sign the petition or give to the fight.

 

Join the Traffickinghub Movement

We’re building a dedicated community of Traffickinghub Premium Partners who are giving $10/month to sustain this long fight till Pornhub is brought to justice. Will you join us? Start here.

*Punctuation added for clarity

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