As a sophomore in high school, I began thinking of solutions to freedom’s greatest threat: the worldwide slave trade. It’s multi-faceted and exists in many forms: in garment factories, at brick kilns, within the seafood industry, through sex and cyber-sex trafficking, by organ trafficking, and more. Six years later, through personal research and conversations with both survivors and senators, I stand able prove to you that we’ve got the tools to put a stop to the vast majority of slavery, so I’m using all I’ve got.

I’ve studied to work in rescue and restoration of women and children out of sex trafficking and prostitution through community-based programs, like safe houses, education, and business development. This means of restoration builds up impoverished communities, solving the problem of exploitation at one of its primary sources: poverty.

However, we will be rescuing and restoring women and children forever if we don’t stop trafficking at its other primary source: the p*rnography industry. It’s been brought to the attention of the media over the past months that there is a strong, positive correlation between sex trafficking and the p*rnography industry, but some of us have known this truth all along: exploiters are grooming people, but especially children, into trafficking over the internet. And the ramifications are blasted across p*rnographic websites, forever haunting a survivor that videos of their non-consensual trauma are being displayed for the profit and pleasure of others.

Meanwhile, to the citizens who have not been exploited, the conversation of p*rnography remains vastly resented, considering most people in the U.S. regularly watch it. P*rn will never be banned, as it’s produced by the private sector and is considered free speech. However, it is neither free, nor a First Amendment Right, if the production of p*rnography silences the free speech of another. We must draw the line between free speech and oppression of the innocent. I’m researching, writing, and pushing policies to define the difference, in order to both protect the innocent and defend your Constitutional Rights.