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Ghislaine Maxwell’s Arrest is a Step Toward Justice for Survivors of Epstein’s Abuse

Ever since Jeffrey Epstein’s untimely and unjust death in August 2019, survivors, advocates, and many others have been asking an important question regarding those who participated in the sexual abuse and exploitation perpetrated by Epstein:

Will justice be served?

Due to Epstein’s connections with a vast web of wealthy and influential individuals, many have worried that those involved in suspected crimes would not be pursued after his death.

We are glad to see that justice is still being pursued.

Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein’s confidante and accomplice, was arrested on Thursday, July 2, 2020. Since she was directly involved in Epstein’s affairs, this is an important development for survivors and seems to indicate that justice may yet be served to the individuals involved in these abuses despite Epstein’s death.

What Filthy Rich Got Right, Wrong About Jeffrey Epstein and His Crimes

Recently, the Netflix documentary Filthy Rich rocketed to the top of Netflix’s charts. We anticipated this with great excitement due to the fact that, although they did not get their day in court with Epstein himself, survivors would be able to share their stories and speak publicly.

The documentary portrayed and reinforced several important points: the wealth of evidence of Epstein’s trafficking and rape crimes, the fact that many men with financial means perpetrate and get away with a lot of sex crimes, and the failure of systems that should have prevented these crimes and punished perpetrators. Importantly, victim-survivors were given a platform to speak out and share their stories.

However, Filthy Rich missed some important pieces as well. Not all offenders of sexual crimes and abuse are prominent or wealthy. Nude images of victims, likely young girls, were shown in the film. The stories shared by victim-survivors included prurient details of their abuse and exploitation and, by doing so, they may have been re-traumatized by those trying to help them tell their story.

Despite its shortcomings, however, the documentary made a meaningful attempt at centering survivor voices. When these realities are recounted from survivors’ perspectives, that is meaningful and empowering. Especially in cases where perpetrators were/are wealthy and have held outsized power in exploitative scenarios, it is necessary to make space for victims to be heard.

The Death of Jeffrey Epstein Was Not the End of the Story

While we must be survivor-centered, we also need to be offender-focused.

This means that, in order to support the survivors’ struggle for justice, we must call out all the collaborators. This includes those who participated in abuse, those who facilitated it, and the legal system that failed to act on the overwhelming evidence presented. Effectively combating sex trafficking means understanding and ending demand for commercial sex.

Filthy Rich made a foray into this territory by questioning the lack of action by prosecutors and examining the generous deal that Epstein received. However, in the end, it was an unsatisfactory exploration that fell short of meaningful investigation. Discovering that Epstein’s original deal included immunity even for unnamed collaborators made it seem as though the deal was designed by collaborators for collaborators—this thread must not go unfollowed.

Police, probation officers, corrections officers, the US Attorneys’ office, prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges, as well as participants, neighbors, observers, staff, and countless unnamed others permitted these abuses to happen again and again. It was a tragedy of failed systems of accountability. A change in the culture and systems that permitted this must include a deep examination of the myriad personal and systemic failures that have occurred.

Thankfully, we believe Filthy Rich was just a start. Over time, as more investigation uncovers the depth and breadth of Epstein’s web of exploitation, we believe that other perpetrators will have to face justice. Ghislaine Maxwell’s arrest reminds and gives us hope that justice is coming for victim-survivors.

“There are others who facilitated or participated in his web of sexual exploitation who must still be brought to justice,” said Dawn Hawkins, Executive Director of NCOSE.

By arresting Maxwell and continuing to look into this case, some measure of justice can be recovered for survivors. We hope that the truth about predators who remain unidentified or shielded by power and influence will fully come to light and that restorative justice will come to fruition.

You can read Ghislaine Maxwell’s full indictment here.


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Google Allegedly Monetizing Child Erotica on YouTube

The National Center on Sexual Exploitation is calling on YouTube to remove all pornography from its platform, following yet another disturbing account of apparently monetized child erotica on YouTube. This is one of the reasons Google has been placed on NCOSE’s 2019 Dirty Dozen List which names 12 mainstream facilitators of sexual exploitation.

Prominent YouTuber MattsWhatItIs made a video on February 17th, explaining his discovery.

In the description, he writes:

Over the past 48 hours I have discovered a wormhole into a soft-core pedophilia ring on Youtube. Youtube’s recommended algorithm is facilitating pedophiles’ ability to connect with each-other, trade contact info, and link to actual CP in the comments. I can consistently get access to it from vanilla, never-before-used Youtube accounts via innocuous videos in less than ten minutes, in sometimes less than five clicks.. Additionally, I have video evidence that these videos are being monetized by Youtube, brands like McDonald’s, Lysol, Disney, Reese’s, and more… Youtube is facilitating this problem. It doesn’t matter that they flag videos and turn off the comments, these videos are still being monetized, and more importantly they are still available for users to watch.

This is not the first time YouTube has come under fire for hosting sexually exploitive content. In April 2018 it was criticized for allowing a pornographic ad to appear on a trending YouTube video, and in November 2017 it was revealed that YouTube’s flagging system to prevent child victimization on its platform was reportedly malfunctioning for a year. Even the YouTubeKids app has been infiltrated with disturbing and often sexual content.

It’s an open secret that Google’s YouTube is a hub for child erotica and is used by pedophiles to network. It’s time for YouTube to make solving this issue their number one corporate priority. Too often, YouTube waits for users or the media to flag degrading and exploitive content on its platform. And then once the media buzz dies down, YouTube reverts to its whack-a-mole approach instead of making sustained improvements.

We know that the technological solutions exist that would be able to prevent this material from being posted and it would save countless man-hours that YouTube currently uses by employing human reviewers.

For instance, Dr. Michael Holm, Chief Data Scientist at Picnix, Inc., asserts “Our team is fully capable of delivering an effective, scalable AI solution for pornographic video detection, building on our seminal patent pending Iris Program (www.meetiris.ai).”

We implore Google and YouTube to collaborate with this company, and others, to find real solutions instead of putting a bandaid on it and waiting for the next blow up.

Tweet at YouTube telling them to remove all exploitative content from their platform.

Sign the petition for YouTube to remove pornographic content from their site.

Washington State Supreme Court Rules Against Backpage.com for Sex Trafficking

Recently, the Washington Supreme Court ruled in favor of three young women who sued Backpage.com after they were sex trafficked as minors on the website. The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) praises this decision, which allows the lawsuit to proceed to trial.

After the lawsuit was originally filed, Backpage filed a motion to dismiss it, arguing it isn’t responsible for the actions of subscribers or users under the federal Communications Decent Act. However, the Washington Supreme Court justices said that this act does not shield Backpage from state lawsuits because there are allegations that the company did not merely host the ads but that they also helped develop the content.

This decision marks an important step forward in the growing movement to hold Backpage accountable for its willful facilitation of human trafficking and prostitution. The Washington Supreme Court’s decision is a wake-up call to Backpage that it must stop promoting and profiting from sexual exploitation.

Backpage is the leading U.S. website for prostitution advertising, generating nearly 80% of all the online prostitution advertising revenue. For these reasons, the website is on NCOSE’s Dirty Dozen list.

To learn more, visit: DirtyDozenList.com.

VIDEO: Planned Parenthood helps Sex Traffickers get Abortions for Child Sex Slaves

The Right Scoop reports, “Live Action has gone into different Planned Parenthood facilities in Virginia, New York, and New Jersey and all of them were willing to aid sex traffickers in getting abortions for their child sex slaves, with one even telling them where to go to get a secret abortion for a minor under the age of 14. They also made sure the sex traffickers knew that their child sex slaves could get insurance, even if they weren’t citizens.”

Read more.