Minneapolis city officials received testimony about peoples’ encounters with porn, those
who consume porn and those who produce it at a hearing of the Minneapolis Government Operations Committee in December 1983. This letter is published in In Harm’s Way: The Pornography Civil Rights Hearings (p.214-215).
Letter of Flora Colao, C.S.W., November 10, 1983
I have been working with sexual assault survivors since 1975. I am founder of the St. Vincent’s Hospital Rape Crisis Program in New York City, a member of New York Women Against Rape and Co-Director of the Children’s Creative Safety Program at the Safety and Fitness Exchange (SAFE Inc.) in New York City. I am writing to offer evidence, based on case histories of individuals and families I have worked with, as to how pornography directly affects the sexual victimization of women and children.
1. The use of cameras in rapes:
An increasing number of women I have counseled have reported to me that while they were being attacked by one man, they were filmed and/or photographed by another. In two incidents the women were told, “We can make real money if we kill you because then it will be a ‘snuff’ film.” In other incidents the women were shown the Polaroid pictures and asked, “Do you want to report this? They’ll have to show these pictures to everybody if you do, the police, lawyers, judge and jury will see them.” Many of these women were too frightened to report these incidents to the police. Of the women I am still in contact with, several have stated that each time they think about the pictures, they wonder if they were sold. They continue to suffer chronic fear and anxiety.
2. The increased number of throat rapes:
I have been alarmed by the increasing numbers of women and gay men who have reported to me that they have been throat raped. In one such incident the woman reported hearing one of her attackers state, “I’ll ‘Deep throat’ her” before losing consciousness. Gay men have reported similar assaults…
3. The use of adult pornography to coerce children into sexually abusive relationships:
In this type of situation, a child is shown adult pornography, asked if s/he is allowed by parents to view such materials and then sexually assaulted. The child is then told that if s/he tells, the offender will tell that s/he looked at the materials. In the case cited in my book (pg. 38, Your Children Should Know by Flora Colao and Tamar Mosansky, copyright 1983 Bobbs Merrill Co., Inc.) after one child disclosed, twenty-two came forward including that child’s younger sister. I have worked with increasing numbers of children both male and female who were coerced in this way.