August 31, 2015

The Importance of Awareness: CESE Summit 2015

It is increasingly more evident that today’s society has become saturated with sex. The hookup culture is now on virtually every college campus and sexually suggestive images and writings are commonplace within the daily media. The problem with this? People are complacent with this newfound sexually-charged lifestyle and simply choose to ignore it, taking the easy way out, rather than to speak out against the issue. The Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation Summit is a step in the right direction and exactly the kind of advocacy needed.

This event is the 2nd annual Summit hosted by the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) and will be held on Thursday September 10th-Saturday September 12 at the Renaissance Orlando in Florida. Because of such an overwhelmingly positive outcome from last year, NCOSE is excited for what is to come of this year as the Summit is becoming more and more well-known.

What is most crucial in the fight to end sexual exploitation is simply awareness. The goal of the Summit is precisely that—to strengthen the movement and to better equip the leaders to become even more efficient in informing the public about such issues. The movement against sexual exploitation is not only centered on values of human dignity, but also on medical and social research which clarifies the true, detrimental, effects of pornography.

The Summit will provide unique insight into the many facets of sexual exploitation. Various topics that will be covered include: sexualization of women and children, reducing sex trafficking demand, factors causing sexual violence, the sex industry as a busineOppose Sexual Exploitationss, recovery, and prevention strategies. Additionally, there are over fifty influential speakers all coming from diverse backgrounds. Whether they are radical feminists, or inter-faith groups, on one side of the political spectrum or the other, the unity amongst the movement that is fostered by this event is invaluable. These individuals and organizations are banding together for one common goal—each one shares a passion for ending sexual exploitation and pornography and promoting human dignity.

These speakers bring to light the fact that sexual exploitation does impact every type of person in every aspect of life. One speaker is Ernie Allen, who is the founder and former president and CEO of both the National and International Center for Missing and Exploited Children. His presentation will discuss the prevalence of child pornography and how human trafficking has grown and evolved in recent years.

The issue of sexually exploited children is of extreme importance and likely to shock the public since children are regarded as “protected” members of society. Often, children may not know if they are being exploited. Additionally, they are at a critical and vulnerable stage in their lives so they are deeply influenced by what they view—watching porn at an early age can cause addiction into adulthood. It is time for the adults to take a stand and protect them.

Another speaker, Carolyn West, who is a prominent author and associate psychology professor, will touch upon racial stereotypes in pornography and how it promotes pimping and prostitution. This topic emphasizes how pornography has enabled people to be seen as objects rather than legitimate human beings with thoughts and feelings. Users on porn websites can choose videos to watch based upon derogatory tags for different ethnic groups, which often makes a mockery of racial equality.

In addition to awareness, the Summit is also in place to bring those affected by sexual exploitation and pornography together, to form a community of security and support. Gabe Deem, a speaker, will truly reinforce this idea. He is an activist and the creator of Reboot Nation, an online resource for those struggling with sexual addictions. He himself suffered from a lengthy and difficult addiction to pornography and now seeks to help others, to pull them from the darkness and bring them into the light, to prove that they are not only in this battle.

So, no matter what your interest may be, whether it is on learning more about a topic you have little previous knowledge on, or finding a support group and relating to others in similar positions, come out to the 2nd Annual Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation Summit. Be a voice for the voiceless and help to make a difference.

Danielle Jahn

Intern

Danielle Jahn is a Communications, Press, and Digital Strategies Intern at the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE). She is a senior at The Catholic University of America and plans to graduate in the spring with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a minor in English. Danielle is passionate about advocating for human dignity and is interested in the “hook up culture” among college students and the legality of sexual exploitation.

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