Enough Is Enough Applauds Resolution Signed by Utah Governor Declaring Internet Pornography a Public Health Crisis
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 19, 2016
Press Statement by Donna Rice Hughes, CEO and President of Enough Is Enough
Today Marks A Historic Landmark Change to End the Way America Thinks About Pornography
Enough Is Enough Applauds Resolution Signed by Utah Governor Declaring Internet Pornography a Public Health Crisis.
GREAT FALLS, Va. – “Enough Is Enough (EIE) applauds the historic landmark resolution by the state of Utah declaring pornography a public health issue. The resolution is being signed today by Utah Gov. Gary Herbert after overwhelmingly passing the Utah Senate and House. The resolution, sponsored by Sen. Todd Weiler, (SCR9), is the first time a state has said pornography is a “public health crisis,” language often used for anti-smoking and anti-drunk driving campaigns.
“This resolution is part of a concerted effort to begin framing the issue as not merely a “moral” issue, but a social issue with enormous costs that negatively impacts individuals and societies. For over two decades, the Internet pornography industry has been able to succeed on the myth that pornography is just harmless fun.
“Noble and worthwhile causes such as these indeed often take a lifetime, as well as a strong network of devoted individuals and groups. Two years ago, under the leadership of Ernie Allen, founder of NCMEC and ICMEC, a small group of leaders, including myself, met together to brainstorm the best way to elevate Internet pornography to a public health crisis.
“However, recent peer-reviewed research and medical science is undeniable in proving that extreme Internet pornography fuels the sexual exploitation and abuse of children, violence against women, addiction in youth and adults, the breakdown of marriage, sex trafficking, and a myriad of other harms.
“Prior to this important meeting, Enough Is Enough® (EIE) has been at the forefront in the battle to prevent the sexual exploitation of children from Internet pornography and sexual predators.
“EIE launched “Project Wilberforce” to remind us that, such daunting social change as ending the Internet-enabled sexual exploitation of children and restoring a culture of dignity and respect is indeed possible. Like William Wilberforce, we have the ability to create a better world, a “beloved” community in which all people are treated with dignity and respect. The two main life goals of Wilberforce were to abolish slavery and to restore manners and decency in England. It took Wilberforce and his band of friends a lifetime to bring about such grand and revolutionary social change.
“Making the Internet safer for children and families has been a twenty-three year marathon, not a sprint.
“EIE urges other states to adopt the Utah resolution and become a leader in the movement to make the Internet safer for children and families and change the way America thinks about pornography. We stand ready to work side by side with you on this critical issue.
“Like Wilberforce said, ‘You may choose to look the other way, but you can never again say that you did not know.'”
To schedule a media interview, please contact Donna Rice Hughes at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Making the Internet safer for children and families.
- 1 out of 3 Americans seek out porn at least once a month
- 62% of teens and young adults have “received” a nude image from someone
- 40% of teens and young adults have “sent” a nude image
- Teens and young adults view NOT recycling more immoral than viewing pornography.
- Interviews with several young men were featured discussing their experience with Porn Induced Erectile Dysfunction (PIED).
- A 2014 fMRI study from the Max Planck Institute found that habitual porn use may have an effect on the brain. “The more pornography men consumed, the smaller the brain striatum, the reward center of the brain.”
- The rise in the numbers of young men struggling with porn addiction and PIED has led to a rise with support groups, videos, and smartphone apps to bring awareness to the dangers of pornography.
The Set Free Summit is less than one week away. Overall, we stand in awe of those who will be in attendance: 19 countries, 750 participants from 350 different organizations and representing +615 million people. Our message will be heard by 200,000,000 people in 25 languages.
The Set Free Summit, which will take place April 4-7, 2016 in Greensboro, N.C., is a global summit that seeks to expose the impact, while providing solutions to the pervasive problem of Internet pornography. This unique conference will discuss the true impact of Internet pornography, the neurological, psychological, cultural and spiritual implications of pornography, and providing attendees with the methods and resources for leading the fight against pornography. This conference will inspire you to educate parents, school administrators, and church leaders about the dangers of Internet pornography.
I am honored to be one of the speakers at the Summit, where I will be speaking on the topic, “Parenting in a Dirty World.” This topic is especially crucial, as I will be discussing about ways to keep your children safe online.
You don’t want to miss a minute of this Summit! There is space still available to attend the Set Free Summit. You can register here. I hope to see you at the Set Free Summit in Greensboro, N.C. on April 4-7, 2016!
When I was growing up, my grandmother, GG, would wrap her presents to my sister and me with the cover of a Christmas card as part of her festive wrapping.
I saved one of my favorite cards with the poem, “A Solitary Life”, and wanted to share it with you.
In these troubled times, with terror attacks occurring regularly, riots in the streets, troubled economies and broken homes, people are seeking answers.
I want to remind us all of the gift of the life of Jesus of Nazareth. All religions agree on one thing, and that is that Jesus was a great man and a great prophet. Some believe as I do, that He is the Messiah and God Incarnate. Whatever your belief, I encourage you to read more about the teachings of Jesus in the Gospel accounts of his short earthly life of 33 years.
He summed up all of His teachings by instructing His followers to Love God and Love others as themselves. If peoples of our world would practice His radical teachings, the world would indeed be a much more loving and peaceful place.
It starts with us.
Have a Blessed weekend.
Utah House Passes Anti-Pornography Resolution
Great news from Utah! The Utah House recently passed a resolution declaring pornography a public health crisis. Now, this historic resolution is headed to Governor Gary Herbert’s desk to be signed, for the protection of children, families from the damaging effects of pornography. Hopefully, this bold action from Utah’s elected officials will inspire other state legislatures to be bold and pass similar resolutions.
The White House has declared identity theft as the fastest growing crime in America. Identity theft can happen to anyone at any age, and it is of the utmost urgency to protect yourself and your loved ones from falling victim to this crime. The Federal Trade Commission has created a one stop shop resource at its updated IdentityTheft.gov for tips on how to protect yourself from identity theft, in addition to reporting the crime and restoring your identity with a personal recovery plan if you fall victim.
Have you been Phished lately? I have, almost every day in fact. Phishing is a type of online fraud in which someone tries to trick the user into revealing valuable personal information. Please watch this short video with key tips to help keep you safe from phishing online.
On April 19, 2016, I will also be speaking at WiFiNow USA in Tysons Corner on the topic of making public Wi-Fi safe in the U.S. Folks, it’s all about WiFi these days. Technology is always evolving and WiFi is the primary means by which we connect when mobile.
Enough Is Enough on Social Media
Happy March, everyone! I am writing to share with you how our issue of the prevention of sexual violence against women and children has been front and center this week at the Oscars and also other timely news.
Powerful Message at the Oscars
Also, Lady Gaga performed a wonderful song at the Oscars, “Til it happens to you,” which exposes the pain of sexual violence happening across America, in particular … the rape of college girls on campus. At the end of Lady Gaga’s performance, dozens of young people appeared on stage with powerful messages tattooed on their arms, like “Survivor,” “It happened to me,” and “You are Loved.”
The pursuit of “hotness” has become huge in the lives of American girls. Studies, including a report by the American Psychological Association in 2007, concludes this has “wide-ranging ramifications for girls’ health and well-being, including studies that link this pressure to sexualize on all kinds of things like rising anxiety, depression, cutting, eating disorders.”
Beware! Last time I wrote to you about some of the dangers regarding the Kik App. I now want to alert you to the many dating apps attracting teens, some of which are downright creepy. ” In its heyday, Hot or Not, perhaps one of the cruelest and most entertaining websites on the Web, was the go-to site for finding out on a 1 to 10 scale whether you were a beauty or a beast in the eyes of your peers. The site inspired social media sites ranging from Facebook to Tinder, and now it’s back to cash in on the Internet dating scene. Like many of the other apps, it uses location to link you to people near you. The app’s defining feature, “Hot Lists,” reportedly gauges a person’s hotness through crowdsourced votes, just like the old website used to do. The app is supposed to update in real time, so you can find the best looking people in your vicinity….” excerpted from article. Read more here.
Become Educated, Equipped and Empowered
Parents and Grandparents, please remember to have an ongoing dialogue with your kids about how they are using technology. First and foremost, establish an atmosphere of trust. Know who they are communicating with online and talk about who is safe and who is not. Review their posts and pictures with them. Make sure you are friends with them on their social media sites and that their profiles/sites are set to private. Teach them there are NO take backs and to think before they post.
We last chatted in 2015, so on behalf of myself and the EIE team: Happy New Year! Since the new year began, much has happened… Thanks to you, we finished the last year strong and are off to a great start!
I’d like to update you on some major movement accomplishments, upcoming events and some national headline news we have had the opportunity to weigh in on.
As you may have heard, the Utah state legislature committee passed a resolution declaring pornography a public health crisis. This unanimous decision shows the courage and conviction of a legislative body to deal with unpopular, and often misunderstood social justice issues such as pornography. We are now one step closer to an official resolution as the Utah legislature will be bringing this up for a formal vote soon. At a time when study upon study shows the devastating affects Internet porn has on children, women, men, the human brain and on the culture at large, there is absolutely no way that society can continue to turn a blind eye to its impact. You can read our official statement on this here and you can read our news coverage here.
In the News…
If you have watched the news at all the past two weeks, I am sure you have seen the two tragic news stories involving the misuse of the Kik app. Recently, Kik was used by a Prince George’s County elementary school volunteer to take pictures and videos of children performing sex acts with each other. Kik also played a part in the recent abduction and murder of a thirteen year old girl in Blacksburg, Va.
Because of Kik’s anonymity and its function as a platform to share as much information as possible, it is quickly becoming a tool that is exploited by online predators. Like all Internet technology, Kik can be used for good or evil. I was able to weigh in on this discussion – you can see my interview with Fox News DC here.
I was also contacted by NBC to weigh in on a disturbing sentence by a judge regarding a Brooklyn, NY man who faced 10 years for downloading child pornography and was instead sentenced to just five days. Child pornography is the recording of actual child sexual abuse and this unjust ruling only minimizes the traumatizing effects child porn has on the children it exploits, not to mention the effects it has on the viewer… fueling an ongoing cycle of abuse. This clueless ruling by this judge only confirms one thing: we must aggressively continue this fight to end child sexual exploitation.
Bottom line, parents and caring adults need to be ever vigilant about how your kids are using technology. I suggest parents pre-approve the apps you allow your kids to use and implement all of our safety guidelines on every Internet-enabled device used by your children. Please remember to visit our YouTube channel where we have over 30 short instructional videos (2 min. each) to equip you to keep your kids safe online.
Thank you for caring about our efforts to make the Internet safer for children and families and for your partnership, which is needed now more than ever. Will you commit to stand with us as we continue to wage on in the fight to end the Internet-initiated sexual child exploitation in our communities? Because of the nature of the Internet’s global expansion, our work – your work – is needed now more than ever. Let’s continue to make a positive impact on our culture together, shall we?
At many restaurants and stores, free public Wi-Fi comes with your morning coffee or your child’s Happy Meal. While the convenience of this connectivity allows many to work or surf the net for fun at public cafés or fast food joints, a growing number of people use public Wi-Fi to view pornography.
With public Wi-Fi serving as an unwitting channel for pornography to creep into our children’s field of vision and attracting felons – all in public squares – large corporations continue to ignore the public outcry for change. A growing movement, National P*rn Free Wi-Fi Campaign, has been calling on Starbucks and McDonald’s as early as March 2014 to filter their Wi-Fi networks. Today, 46,500 petitions signatures later, even with the formation of a coalition of more than 75 organizations, this public safety issue still is yet to be addressed at the corporations’ shareholders meetings.
So what’s the big deal with unfiltered public Wi-Fi? What happens if Starbucks and McDonald’s didn’t do something to make their networks safer?
Imagine teenage girls chat over a Frappuccino after school, just one table over from someone browsing sexually explicit materials. Children in the play area can be just five feet from a man, sitting in plain view, watching pornographic films. These are not simply potential scenarios; they have happened and reported (http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Man-Arrested-at-Starbucks-for-Allegedly-Looking-at-Child-Porn-146895635.html).
Perhaps more dangerous is that, according to federal officers, the anonymity of public Wi-Fi attracts criminals to engage in sexual solicitation of children and trafficking of child pornography right there in public places (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/10/AR2007021001457.html). On December 29, 2014, USA Today reported the arrest of a registered sex offender while he was allegedly downloading child pornography at a Hillsboro, Washington Starbucks. (USA Today News Story, December 29, 2014).
The availability of unfiltered public Wi-Fi also means that children and teenagers whose parents turn on filtering controls on their home internet service can bypass those parental controls and freely access pornographic materials in public. Even when they are not looking for explicit material, a misspelling on search engines could expose them to images or otherwise lead them to pornographic sites – everything from adult pornography (the kind of images that appear in Playboy and Penthouse) to federally prosecutable obscene material depicting graphic sex acts, live sex shows, orgies, bestiality and violence. Even illegal content depicting the actual sexual abuse of a child (child pornography) — once only found on the black market — is instantly available and accessible on the Internet.
It’s long been established that usage of internet pornography leaves profoundly destructive consequences on the mental, emotional and sexual health of adolescents. Use of pornography can also lead to addictive and even criminal behavior. Protecting children from pornography is not merely a morality issue; it’s a global public health issue. Recent studies also show that online pornography fuels the sexual exploitation of children, violence against women, sex trafficking, addiction and the breakdown of marriage.
Unfiltered public Wi-Fi poses real threat to our society, and it’s high time that businesses take measures to make their Wi-Fi policies family-friendly and safe for their customers.
This is the clarion call of Enough Is Enough’s National P*rn Free Wi-Fi Campaign. Launched on October 2, 2014, this initiative calls on corporate America to join the fight to prevent the Internet-initiated sexual exploitation of children, as one of the latest efforts in EIE’s campaign to provide internet safety for children for more than twenty years.
The initial phase of EIE’s P*rn Free Wi-Fi Campaign targets McDonald’s and Starbucks. With a combined 25,000 stores in the U.S., these two corporate giants have locations in every street corner of our largest cities and towns, offering not just food and beverages, but also free, unfiltered, public Wi-Fi. Left unfiltered, these Wi-Fi hotspots can encourage or assist in criminal activity. However, as industry leaders, they are in a unique position to lead the way in the U.S. to provide safe public internet for their patrons.
Offering filtered, porn-free Wi-Fi will prove a win-win step for businesses and their patrons – corporations build a reputation of corporate responsibility and good corporate citizenship, and patrons and their families enjoy a safe environment without worries of being around sexual predators.
Although providing filtered public Wi-Fi could bring significant improvement in safety for customers of these businesses, it’s not a drastic or unprecedented measure in the US. Chick-fil-A and Panera Bread already filter pornography, child pornography and other inappropriate content on their Wi-Fi networks.
Even McDonald’s and Starbucks locations in the UK have long been filtering their Wi-Fi networks under an industry-wide self-regulation initiative led by Prime Minister David Cameron. As Cameron indicated, “this has never been a debate about companies or government censoring the Internet, but about filters to protect children” (http://www.politics.co.uk/comment-analysis/2013/07/22/david-cameron-s-porn-speech-in-full). The United Kingdom further launched a nationwide “Friendly Wi-Fi” accreditation scheme to denote the cafes, restaurants and other businesses that offer public Wi-Fi access meeting a minimum level of filtering.
“If McDonald’s and Starbucks can protect children from pornography and child pornography in other nations, they should do so here in the U.S.,” said Donna Hughes, EIE President and CEO. “Offering safe Wi-Fi is in alignment with both McDonald’s and Starbucks’ corporate best practices and family-friendly policies. This would be a win-win for families and the companies’ respective brands. It’s not about censorship; it’s about corporate responsibility and good corporate citizenship.”
As part of EIE’s P*rn Free Wi-Fi Campaign, a public petition was launched and gathered 46,500 signatures, along with signatures of leaders of 75 organizations, on a petition letter addressed to McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson and Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz. Organizations that have partnered with EIE in this campaign include The National Children’s Advocacy Center, The Salvation Army, The Home School Legal Defense Association, The Family Research Council, The American Family Association, Focus on the Family’s Citizens Link, Parents’ Television Council, The Center for Family & Human Rights, and Concerned Women for America.
Since delivering the certified letter in March 2015, neither corporation provided official response to the petition. The issue was completely ignored at Starbucks’ annual shareholder meeting on March 18, 2015. On May 21, 2015, McDonald’s shareholder meeting likewise did not address the petition for filtered Wi-Fi, as it disregarded other demands and protests for policy changes, such as higher wages. They did, however, issue preliminary statements:
Starbucks – “While we don’t have a specific enterprise-wide, global policy on what customers can and cannot access on our free in-store Wi-Fi, we do reserve the right to stop any behavior that interferes with our customer experience.”
McDonald’s- “We are always open to continuous improvement and will take the issues raised under advisement. McDonald’s and our independent owner-operators share a commitment to providing a safe environment for our customers.”
Responding to the corporations’ slow to action, Hughes remarked, It’s stunning to me that McDonald’s and Starbucks, which already filter child pornography and pornography on their Wi-Fi in the UK and Australia, are not providing that same level of protection for children and families in America where they are headquartered.
A mom brings her kids to get a Happy Meal, and there’s a man in an adjoining booth enjoying hard-core pornography or even child pornography? Law enforcement reports this has happened. If parents understood that strangers can view hard-core pornography and child pornography in front of their kids in these establishments, I believe they would join us in saying, “Enough is enough!”
Please find below, our partner Family Research Council’s Update Article in support of the National Porn Free WiFi campaign.
“Starbucks and McDonalds filter their coffee — but not their WiFi. Despite more than 46,000 petitions, the two businesses refuse to block pornography from their free Internet service. And in some stores, the access is already costing them. In December, detectives arrested a man in Oregon for downloading child porn at the Starbucks hotspot. And that’s just one report of people using the free Internet to traffic children or solicit them for sex.
An organization called Enough Is Enough pressuring Starbucks and McDonalds to do what Chick-fil-A and Panera already do: filter out pornography from their feeds. ‘It’s about limiting the safe haven that open WiFi creates for sexual predators,’ the coalition of 75 organizations, including FRC, argues. Although both companies received the call to action, they aren’t heeding it.
In statements, they said they appreciated the feedback and would take the suggestion ‘under advisement.’ If customers want to click over to the dark world of pornography, let them do it on their own dime. Happy Meals and child porn should not be the new norm. To sign the petition, click over to the EnoughIsEnough website.”