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Monday, June 18, 2012

Our Actions Count... Part 3


~How Pornography and Sex Trafficking are LINKED~




If you’ve just joined us, we’re mid way through a four-part series entitled ‘Our Actions Count’.  It’s for parents, teachers, care-givers, grandparents and anyone really with them aim of thrashing out some ideas that will:

1. Help kids learn to delay gratification.
2. Steer boys to manhood.
3. Show how pornography and sex trafficking are linked.
4. Help stop human trafficking at the source.

Today we’re looking at Part 3 in this series, which shows the links between pornography and sex trafficking.  You may want to read Part 1 and Part 2 first.

Do you ever wonder what a day is like for the girl who finds herself with a price over her head, abandoned by a relative who said they cared? 
What's it like for the teenager trapped serving clients, who has never known what it feels like to {really} be loved and protected? 
What's it like to be viewed as nothing but a commodity?  Useful only for the amount of money you make?
Do you?

These are the cries that ZOE Children’s Home responds to.
We hear so many testimonies from children who share how being rescued by ZOE totally transformed their life.  
How being loved unconditionally gave them freedom beyond just the physical sense and how being accepted in to a family has provided a chance to develop in to the person they were created to be.

And yet my heart still breaks for the tens of thousands of children who know no love right now.
The little ones who need a breakthrough... who need rescuing AND who need us to keep fighting for the their rights to be loved and cared for…

Just for the record, this topic of pornography and how it links to sex trafficking is not something that I usually go around talking about.  However, considering it is such a significant problem in today’s culture and so many people shy away from speaking about it, I think it needs to be discussed.
We must understand that unless our society’s beliefs, values and actions towards women undergo a massive change; sex trafficking will continue.
Pornography is a multi-billion dollar industry and its affect on trafficking urges me a stand up and say, we HAVE to be aware about what is going on around us…. AND not just that, we have to do something!
“While the statistics can seem overwhelming, it is important to remember that every number {of people trafficked} represents the life of a victim”. (A21 Campaign)
I recently read this book called, Porn Nation by Michael Leahy. 
Woah! What an eye-opener.
Michael is the founder of BraveHearts whose mission is to educate people about sexual addiction and the sexualization of our culture.
It’s also to inspire those who struggle and give their loved ones hope to be able to seek help.  The author Michael is a recovering sex addict who was exposed to porn as a child by some school-yard bullies.
I finished the book literally shell-shocked and wondering, “How on earth do I protect my boys from this?”
But the truth is, it’ll be hard for them to escape. 
We live in a world drenched with images that sexualize girls and women. And where (despite parent’s best efforts) it is not always possible to control what kids view through print, the media, computers, magazines, books and movies.
Media, such as magazine ads, TV, video games, and music videos can leave lasting effects on children.
I read that on average children aged 13 to 18 spend more than 72 hours a week using electronic media—
defined as the Internet, mobile phones,
television, music and video games.

But more disturbingly I saw a statistic that said over 75% of parents actually have no clue what their kids do online. (xxxchurch.com)
To those who say pornography is victimless, I would wholeheartedly disagree.

Pornography reduces women and even children to mere sex objects and has the power to destroy individuals, families and communities.

HOW? 

 It is so addictive!

Adult pornography creates a trap that is difficult to escape. It entices viewers to consume more and more smut and to delve deeper and deeper into more graphic and obscene material.   (J. Matt Barber)
It is so easy!
Being accessible, affordable, and anonymous makes Internet pornography especially destructive. 
And it’s never too hard to find sites either; spam emails find ways of luring Internet uses to porn sites all the time!
I didn’t know this, but there are more than 260 million pages of pornographic content on the Internet. 
But, what’s the link with sex trafficking?
Laura Lederer, former Senior Advisor on Trafficking in Persons for the U.S. State Department, thinks there is a vital connection between pornography and sex trafficking.
She says, “Pornography is a brilliant social marketing campaign for commercial sexual exploitation”.  But goes on to clarify, “Not all, or even most, pornography is created by traffickers. But a key ingredient to commercial sex is the belief that people (women especially) are sexual commodities, and Internet pornography is the ideal vehicle to teach and train this belief”.
Noel Bouche, Vice President of pureHOPE says, “It drives people to the place where they become comfortable with commercial sex”.
Not saying that all porn consumers endorse human trafficking, but Noel suggests that by their actions, they do silently endorse the objectification of women.
“Pornography promotes rights violations not only of the female partners, friends, acquaintances, and relatives of the men who consume pornography, but also of the women who participate in its production. This is because the acts caught on film in much pornography are allegedly coerced through intimidation and money: sex forced on real women so that it can be sold at a profit to be forced on other real women”.  (Catharine MacKinnon)
Focus on the Family, outlines 5 Stages of Addiction.
            Early exposure. Most guys who get addicted to porn start early. They see the stuff when they are very young, and it gets its foot in the door.
            Addiction. Later comes addiction. You keep coming back to porn. It becomes a regular part of your life. You're hooked. You can't quit.
            Escalation. After a while, escalation begins. You start to look for more and more graphic porn. You start using porn that would have disgusted you when you started. Now it excites you.
            Desensitization. Eventually, you start to become numb. Even the most graphic, degrading porn doesn't excite you anymore. You become desperate to feel the same thrill again but can't find it.
          Acting out sexually. At this point, many men make a dangerous jump and start        acting out sexually. They move from the paper and plastic images of porn to the real world…
I’ve also heard it said that when travelling overseas, in a foreign or exotic country, some tourists feel more of a sense of freedom and anonymity that seems to make being sexually irresponsible somehow okay.
A Call to Action!
In the final part of this series, I’ll look at some ways we can help to stop human trafficking at the source.

Please check back soon for the fourth and final post in this series.

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