Justice

Farrah Abraham's Rape Claims Have an Eerie New Relevance

Recent sexual assault claims against porn star James Deen—from multiple women—are making headlines, bringing up the need to discuss sexual assault in the adult entertainment industry.

In 2014, "Teen Mom" star turned porn actress Farrah Abraham shared her story of being sexually assaulted, yet it did not make waves the way that the recent allegations against Deen have.

In an interview with InTouch Weekly, Abraham shared the dark side of her experience in porn, including episodes of abuse and sexual assault.

"I was drugged and raped more than once," Abraham said. "I allowed the wrong type of people into my life."

Related: This Powerful Video Shows The Real Cost of Sexual Assault

Though a 2014 study revealed that sexual assault does not happen more in this industry than other places of work, discussing sexual assault in the porn industry has added barriers—including the myth that those who work in porn can't be raped, along with the overall stigma of sex work that those in the adult industry have to contend with.

Sexual assault as a whole is an under-reported crime; the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) states that 68 percent of sexual assaults go unreported (and even if sexual assault is reported, only 2 percent of alleged rapists receive jail time, RAINN explains).

Stigma surrounding the porn industry.

Two years ago Abraham stepped into the adult film industry with the release of "Farrah Superstar: Backdoor Teen Mom" that co-starred James Deen. She went on to make more adult films, despite experiencing the stigma surrounding the porn industry.

Related: Adult Film Star Stoya Accuses Ex-Boyfriend James Deen Of Rape

After the release of her video Abraham explained that she felt shame and regret. "Knowing that my sex tape was out there for everyone in the world to see was overwhelming," Abraham said. "I wanted to hide my face and not go out and pick up my phone. If I went back in time, I would not have done it. The sex tape ruined my life."

Abraham did go on to star in other adult films after that, including one more with Deen. But the initial sense of shame that overwhelmed Abraham and that caused her to isolate herself is evidence that there are still stigmas surrounding the porn industry.

Even though porn is a billion-dollar industry, watching porn remains a discrete and private practice. Only 29 percent of Americans think that watching porn is morally acceptable, the Atlantic reports. Moreover, just 23 percent of women approve of watching porn. If people have moral objections to watching porn then that in turn can influence their attitudes toward porn in general.

Why someone in the industry might not report sexual assault.

According to former porn actress Tori Lux, the reason she never reported James Deen for sexually assaulting her was because of these stigmas. In an article she wrote for the Daily Beast, Lux described how she felt going to the police was a mistake.

"'A few people with whom I’ve shared this story over the years have asked me why I didn’t call the police as soon as it happened, or publicly speak up about it shortly thereafter. The reason for that is because people—including the police—tend to believe that sex workers have placed themselves in harm’s way, and therefore can’t be assaulted,' Lux said. 'In turn, sex workers are silenced and our negative experiences are swept under the rug as we try to protect ourselves from the judgment of others—or worse, a variety of problems ranging from further physical attacks to professional issues such as slander and/or blacklisting.'"

Lux continued:

"'I hope to encourage you, the reader, to open your mind to the bigger picture regarding stigma and safety within the sex industry,' Lux said. 'Being silenced is what keeps sex workers in danger, and the stigma is what keeps sex workers silent when they’re attacked. It’s a vicious cycle, and I hope we can work together toward humanizing one another and preventing instances like this from continuing to happen.'"

Ashley Fires, another porn actress who has come forward with allegations that Deen assaulted her explained the importance of safety and destigmatization on Twitter:

Lux and Fires aren't the only one accusing Deen of sexual assault. Former girlfriend and fellow porn star Stoya came forward on Twitter over the weekend accusing Deen of rape.

Deen has since denied Lux and Stoya's claims.