An August 2018 U.S. court decision permitted a civil claim of sex trafficking to proceed against Harvey Weinstein. Previously, the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) has been used against pimps who have used extreme force against girls and women to coerce them into formal systems of prostitution.
A number of rape charges have been filed against Weinstein by other women, along with numerous complaints of sexual harassment.
Now, this case acknowledges that the acts Weinstein perpetrated against Kadian Noble, a British actress, in forcing himself upon her sexually in connection with offering her career advancement in movies and modeling, fall under the U.S. Trafficking Victims Protection Act. His alleged acts included fraudulent promises, making her masturbate him, touching her sexually after she said no, and exchanging his assurances of promoting her career, a thing of value, for a sex act, making the sex he forced on her commercial in nature.
This sea-change, which grasps that these acts of sexual harassment amount to a form of prostitution forced by unequal power through deceptive enticement, is a result of many many years of women’s testimony and courageous activism on the part of women, their legal allies and abolitionists who argue for the elimination of the institution of prostitution, and who advocate for alternatives to prostitution for economic survival and an end to sexual aggression.