Activist Haley Halverson Says Children Face Greater Risk of Sexual Exploitation if Prostitution is Decriminalized

Haley Halverson speaks at the Heritiage Foundation for a panel on protecting children from sexualization on Oct. 9, 2019. | Photo: Screengrab/

Amid efforts around the nation to decriminalize prostitution and the explosion of apps and online porn, minors are particularly vulnerable for sexual exploitation, a leading advocate says.

Speaking on a panel about preventing the sexualization of children at the Heritage Foundation, a summit co-hosted by the Family Policy Alliance, Haley Halverson, vice president for advocacy with the National Center on Sexual Exploitation stressed that it is vital to understand the interconnections between all sexual abuse, particularly pornography’s link with prostitution and trafficking.

“It is no longer a question of if children will be exposed to pornography. It is question of when,” she said.

Porn both rewires the brain and in much of it sexual violence against women is celebrated, she said, adding that it now serves as the primary sexual education of rising generations, with the primary lesson being “no means yes” and that “violence is sexy.”

Because of the myriad harms inherent in porn, NCOSE has authored a state resolution declaring widespread pornography use to be a public health crisis, a measure that has passed in 15 states thus far.

Porn also overlaps with the online scourge of grooming children for sexual abuse and trafficking, Halverson continued, recounting how a few months ago she met three teen girls from Washington, D.C., who were sex trafficking survivors.

“They showed me their Instagram accounts. And even though their accounts were set to private, they were receiving on a weekly basis dozens of direct messages from strangers, men in D.C., reaching out to them, telling them they’re beautiful, asking them to meet up, asking them for sexually explicit photos, sending them sexually explicit photos.”

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Brandon Showalter