October 27, 2020

Porn and the Pandemic: What to Do When a Partner’s Addiction is Exposed

It is no surprise that pornography use escalated as more people stayed at home and online during the novel coronavirus quarantines of 2020.  Jim O’Day, executive director of Integrity Restored, highlighted the troubling rise of pornography use during the COVID-19 pandemic this way:

“At some point in the future we’re going to be faced with people who have become so habitualized to using pornography as their self-soothing mechanism that we’re going to have a bigger society of addicts than we currently do today.”

But what about the innocent spouse or partner of someone who uses pornography? What are they supposed to do when they find themselves facing down this addiction in their loved one?

Many people have found out about their partner’s pornography addiction for the first time during this increased time at home together and this can significantly heighten their experience of the crisis.

Dozens of research studies and untold numbers of anecdotal personal stories demonstrate the considerable harms to relationships that stem from pornography use. Included among those harms, excessive pornography use can lead to other forms of abuse in the relationship including emotional abuse, sexual aggression, lying, gaslighting, and other dangerous sexual behavior.

Betrayal Trauma Recovery is an organization dedicated to exposing the damage pornography does to families and relationships. They provide support and counseling to women in relationships with men who view pornography. They have helpful podcasts for education and support. They articulate that pornography is abusive by itself and they also help explain how it fuels the rest of the prostitution marketplace.

Dawn Hawkins, Executive Director for the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, spoke to Anne Blythe, M.Ed. and Executive Director of BTR, in a Facebook Live during the pandemic. In it, they discuss how pornography use has impacted relationships during COVID-19 and what women can do to protect themselves as well as to find safety and healing.

How Pornography Use Impacts Partners

Many people are unaware of the emotional/psychological abuse and sexual coercion that active porn users use to hide their addiction and/or manipulate their partners. Today, Anne Blythe, host of the Betrayal Trauma Recovery podcast, joins our executive director Dawn Hawkins to talk about abuse issues related to pornography use and how to stop this type of abuse.

Posted by National Center on Sexual Exploitation on Thursday, April 9, 2020

 

It is clear that pornography has detrimental effects on individuals, relationships, and even society. To learn more about pornography as a public health crisis and what you can do to help today, visit our page here.

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