In other words, when Americans watch porn, they’re fooled into thinking they are always watching free men and women engaging in consensual sexual intercourse. Contrary to the popular image of the porn industry, many women are being forced to have intercourse, be groped, kicked, beaten, etc.

According to FTND CEO Clay Olsen, “porn fuels the demand for the sex trade” in a way often not seen by those who view porn. “Traffickers have learned to package their product in a way that disguises the fact that the ‘performers’ are forced to participate,” said Olsen.

While data on the number of women girls and boys forced into porn is relatively scant, due to its secretive and illegal nature, Dawn Hawkins, Executive Director of National Center on Sexual Exploitation, told me that “the 20+ performers I have talked to (some still involved in porn) have all shared stories with me that they were forced and coerced many times over.”

“Drugs, alcohol, physical abuse, blackmail, threats, fake legal documents, deceitful enticing, promises of fame and money and so much more are used to get the girls to perform what and how the producers desire,” she added.