June 9, 2014

Guest column: Demand for pornography fuels sex-trafficking industry (Naples Daily News)

By Barbara Hattemer
June 9, 2014
Naples Daily News

I have just returned from Washington, D.C. where Morality in Media’s new president Pat Trueman and assistant Dawn Hawkins gathered anti-pornography leaders from all over the country for the first time in 27 years. They have ignited a fire in anti-pornography fighters and have achieved outstanding successes this year.

As the rape rate in the military soared, MIM convinced army and air force bases to stop selling pornography, convinced Google to drop all pornography apps, and the Federal Communications Commission not to lower standards on television. MIM’s Dirty Dozen List of organizations that promote pornography are asking how they can get off that list.

With these successes behind them, MIM convened the Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation. Opening the summit at the National Press Club, they presented pornography as a Public Health Crisis and caught worldwide attention, sparking articles on every continent.

In the 1980s, we had an active chapter in Naples that worked closely with Sheriff Aubrey Rogers and Don Hunter. A Grand Jury declared hardcore pornography unwelcome in Collier County, establishing a high community standard. The next day the shelves of the county’s “adult” bookstores were bare and soon they closed. Our sex business ordinance is still in effect and was used to close Jimmy Flynt’s sex toy shop in North Naples. One minute into his opening address, Pat Trumann used Naples as an example of what a community can do.

The energy of the conference was electric! Young leaders with full technical know-how are producing movies, videos, and writing helpful books. Good Pictures Bad Pictures by Kristen A. Jenson and Gail Poyner teaches adults how to talk to children when they are exposed to porn on the Internet and how to resist the temptation to look at pornography. What Can I Do About Him? Me? by Rhyll Anne Croshaw tells those struggling with sexual addiction how couples can work through the long recovery process to heal both the betrayed wife and the addicted husband. My easy-to-read novel An Island Just for Us educates women about the effects of pornography and encourages them to talk about it in groups. Covenant Eyes and Net Nanny promoted new technology that protects children from seeing porn on the Internet, iPads or iPhones.

Radical feminists spoke passionately and eloquently about the harm the porn industry does to women. Thirty percent of visits to Internet porn are from women. Formerly addicted women are working to rescue female consumers and those who work in porn films.

Porn Proof Kids offers a Smart plan to deal with exposure to porn and trains the whole family to reject it. Their helpful website offers tips and tools to protect young minds and prevent your children from using porn when they are bored, lonely, angry, stressed or tired. Suggestions for how to talk to your children about pornography are invaluable.

Ministers are being called to fight this issue. They find that 40 to 80% of their men secretly look at pornography. Jay Dennis from Lakeland, Florida, has written a book to help ministers tackle the issue in their own churches. He tells fellow ministers how to help men break away from dependence on pornography and become the spiritual leaders they were meant to be. He is seeking one million men and one million women who will commit to leading a porn-free life and respond to requests for action. These contacts produce results that tell us pornography can be beaten back. I returned home full of optimism that this war is winnable.

A former porn producer told us he walked the malls looking for pretty women who were alone. When he approached them, he told them how beautiful they were. By the way they responded he could tell which ones he could flatter and lure into his studio. Once they walked through that door, they were captives who were held prisoner.  Drugged, filled with alcohol, often beaten, they were forced to perform on film until they were broken, contracted a disease or became physically unfit to perform.

So much porn is now free on the Internet, the pornography industry would fail financially without human sex trafficking. We must realize that different types of sexual exploitation are thoroughly intertwined. Pornography is a major factor in creating the demand for trafficked women and children. Until we curb the demand for pornography, we will not solve the problem of trafficking. I encourage you to join the Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation.

For further information, email barbhat@infionline.net.

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