In October 2020, Alvin Winford, the Program Manager at the African Network for the Prevention and Protection Against Child Abuse (ANPPCAN), launched a groundbreaking training on the public health harms of pornography.
Alvin presented to 30 members of the Liberian Child Rights NGOs Coalition, all of whom work at different organizations advocating for and serving children. While data on pornography exposure rates in Africa is limited, the phenomenon of pornography exposure and consumption continues to be widespread across the globe—including in African nations. This is largely due to the growing presence of technology that facilitates and normalizes online pornography.
Prior to this presentation, child advocacy organizations in Liberia have received little to no training on the impacts of pornography and Alvin shared with them about the way pornography negatively impacts the brain, increases rates of sexual violence, harms child development, and damages relationships.
Alvin reported, “When I started the presentation, everyone was enthusiastic to learn more. People didn’t know that it impacted the brain, they thought it was just a movie. But after going through the brain research, a few people spoke up and shared that they had been addicted and saw that it impacted their productivity at work.”
“Those who are working with children need to recover from the harms of pornography themselves, as well as learn how to prevent children from being exposed and how to help them recover,” Alvin noted as he explained the importance of these types of trainings for Liberia and other African nations. “This is the start of the conversation for how child advocacy NGOs can proactively protect and serve children and families in this space.”
This presentation was done in association with the Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation AFRICA, which utilizes African community leadership to pilot, test, and share strategies for pornography harm education and prevention.