September 8, 2014

Morality in Media: waging war against pornography since 1962 (KSL)

By Jen Allred
September 8th, 2014
KSL.com

The battle against pornography and sexual exploitation is raging, and staggering are the accounts of casualties that pornography leaves in its wake: the addicts, trapped in the desensitizing cycle of addiction; the exploited pornography participants; the addict’s spouse and loved ones who have to deal with feelings of betrayal and a sense of lowered self-esteem; and those who have fallen prey to sexual abuse, abduction and horrific acts that fill our news feeds.

The sexual exploitation pandemic spreads through our computers, our phones, our televisions, businesses and homes. If it isn’t in your home already, it is pounding on your front door.

Morality in Media is a national organization that has taken up the fight against sexual exploitation. The group’s website says it was organized in 1962 by an interfaith group of clergy who grew concerned by an incident in which grade-school children were “caught with hardcore pornography.” The site also says the group is now “the leading national organization opposing pornography and indecency through public education and the application of the law.”

Hysen Sisco, with press inquiries at Morality in Media, said, “We defend the natural human dignity that we believe everyone has and we’d like that to be respected and upheld.”

One project they are working on — Pornography and Sex Trafficking exposes pornography as one of the “major factors creating and driving the demand for trafficked women and children.”

“We have a page educating about how pornography creates a demand for sex trafficking and prostituted women and children,” Sisco said. “Pornography educates men into desiring very specific sexual acts … so they go out and they seek for those acts with prostituted women; and many, or if not most of those women are there against their will through forced fraud or coercion, to the legal definition of trafficking.”

Morality in Media is also working to make hotels safer environments.

“We are trying to work with the hotels to try and get porn out of the hotels on their pay-per-view channels,” Sisco said. “We’d like to see more of that so that hotels become less of a place where sexual harassment occurs. … It just creates sort of a hostile environment and it … becomes a bad environment for children who are staying at the hotels.”

Every year Morality in Media publishes a Dirty Dozen list, a compilation of 12 leading contributors of sexual exploitation. As part of this list, Morality in Media invites the public to hold the 12 entities responsible for the part they play in the spreading of this inappropriate material.

This year’s list includes Eric Holder, Google, Sex Week on College Campuses, Hilton Hotels, and Barnes and Noble, to name a few. Reasons on why these entities were chosen for the list can be found on the website. (Warning: Some components of the list are pretty shocking. However, the running Dirty Dozen list has already incited change in some of the companies it details.)

The organization’s web site also includes a list of resources to help those in need. Esource links include those for people struggling with porn, partners and spouses, parents, victims and other needs of the community.

When discussing ways for the public to join in Morality in Media’s fight against pornography, Sisco said, “They can get involved on our Porn Harms Action Center page. We have a lot of different ways that they can sign petitions or contact their elected officials or specific companies, organizations that are profiting from sexual exploitation through pornography.”

For those people who are interested in joining Morality in Media and the fight against sexual exploitation, a list of ways to volunteer can be found at pornharms.com/volunteer.

A big point of Morality in Media is the importance of becoming informed about the problem and helping other people become informed in order to guard themselves and their communities from the harmful effects of pornography and sexual exploitation. The organization suggests talking with your local libraries to advocate them putting filters on their computers and becoming porn free, or contacting your government officials to support the enforcement of pornography laws. One of the projects on the webpage focuses on the ability of people affected by pornography to share their personal stories on a forum.

Other ways to volunteer include designing promotional materials, donating money, helping with research and translating content into Spanish. There are also opportunities for interns.

“Honestly, (people) have to let their voices be heard with organizations and companies,” Sisco said. “They have to take a stand in their communities by contacting retail stores or just going up to cashiers at places where they sale pornography. If they see it, they should say something.”

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