Enough Is Enough

Fifteen years ago, I stood in front of congressional leaders and the press core in the Senate Russell Caucus Room on Capitol Hill where I shared the following:

It’s my job during the next ten minutes to dispel some popular misconceptions about pornography and expose you to the realty of this issue we face. Unfortunately, the worst and most deviant forms of illegal pornography have invaded our home, offices and schools via the computer.  Computers have emerged as the leading-edge technology for the distribution of hard-core and child pornography. This is due to the low risk of law enforcement detection, speed of transmission and ease of access for both children and adults. In fact, the Internet has become a central means of distributing child pornography worldwide.

Children today are increasingly computer literate, in most cases, much more so than their parents. Any child with a computer and a modem can access pornographic material in seconds, and once they’ve seen it, it can’t be erased from their minds.  Just as disturbing is the fact that we cannot protect ourselves or our children from those who derive sexual pleasure from viewing this toxic material.

I used to ask, how many children will fall through the cracks, how many lives will be destroyed, until we collectively stand up and say Enough Is Enough?  Fifteen years later, I am asking the same question.  For fifteen years, our children have been spoon-fed a steady diet of hard-core pornography via the Internet, with no laws or barriers of entry.  Kids have been accessing pornography, for FREE, both intentionally, but mostly accidently, that their own parents would have a hard time buying on the seedy side of town in a triple x-rated bookstore. It is and has been, the worst of the worst types of pornography.

We have been fighting an uphill battle since I began my work at Enough Is Enough in 1994.  Evil has been allowed to flourish, for the most part unchecked. Even the Supreme Court has turned a blind eye to the ever-increasing evidence of the epidemic of Internet pornography and its negative impact on our youth.

I interviewed 12 teenage girls and boys as we were making our Internet safety 101 teaching video.  They told me stories about how they were lured into viewing pornography, their addictions to Internet pornography and the devastating impact pornography had on their relationships, body image and sexual health.  One beautiful, all-American girl named Courtney shared: “It does make them curious, just like a little girl when she watched Cinderella, you know, she wants to be just like her, and kids that watch porn, they want to be just like them.”

A report released today by the Witherspoon Institute quantifies the very real and present dangers of pornography on children, women and men.   The multi-disciplinary, academic review found that today’s consumption of pornography fuels the breakdown of families, the abuse of children and the desensitization of the viewer to more deviant, graphic and bizarre types of pornography.  Pornography, as the study found, is “deforming the sexual development of young viewers and is used to exploit children and adolescents”.

An article out last week in the UK found that teenage boys watching hours of pornography were treating their girlfriends like sex objects, and girls were afraid to be alone with their boyfriends because of their porn-informed demands.  The chickens have now come home to roost; we are reaping what we have sown, and our kids are the victims.

No matter how hard we try, we cannot completely protect ourselves and our loved ones in a culture that permits this material to flourish.  We must all take responsibility for what has happened and join together to stop this epidemic. After having sacrificed an entire generation to the destructive impact of hard-core pornography, it’s about time we all collectively say, Enough Is Enough!

Resources:

You can view Enough Is Enough’s Internet Safety 101 videos on pornography here.

For information about how to protect children from threats like Internet pornography visit us at www.internetsafety101.org.

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