November 1, 2010

White Ribbon Against Pornography Week


Statement by EIE President Donna Rice Hughes on White Ribbon Against Pornography Week


This week marks the annual White Ribbon Against Pornography (WRAP) Week, a movement intended to educate the public about the harms associated with pornography and about the need to enforce our existing obscenity laws to fight against the flood tide of illegal obscene adult pornography.


In our work at Enough Is Enough®® (EIE), we hear countless stories of teens, kids and even young children scarred by their access to Internet pornography, pornography that is often filled with violence against women, group sex, excretory functions and a myriad of other deviant behavior.  The Supreme Court has repeatedly held that obscenity i.e. illegal, hardcore adult pornography, is not protected by the First Amendment, but unfortunately, these laws have not been aggressively enforced.  As a result, any child with unrestricted Internet access is just one click away from receiving a powerful sexual mis-education via illegal obscene adult pornography.


Pornography is not just harmless fun. It is the drug of the new millennium, and for fifteen years our children have been spoon-fed a steady diet of pornography online. Kids accidentally (and intentionally) access a wide array of pornography (soft- core, illegal obscene adult pornography and child pornography) in the privacy of their homes or through any Internet enable device. Due to the mainstreaming of such hard-core material, the majority of Americans do not know that much of the content available online is prosecutable.   Hence, the 13 billion dollar Internet porn industry continues to thrive, remaining virtually unchecked, but with ties to child sexual abuse, violence against women and human trafficking as reported in the  Witherspoon report, The Social Cost of Pornography, this is a hidden public health hazard that we cannot ignore.


While producing our Internet Safety 101SM® teaching series, I interviewed 12 teenage girls and boys about online dangers and safety.  Many of them talked about how online pornography use was one of their biggest struggles, sharing stories about how they were lured into viewing pornography, their addictions to Internet pornography and the devastating impact pornography had on their relationships, body image and sexual health. 


One beautiful, all-American girl named Courtney shared: "It does make them curious, just like a little girl when she watched Cinderella, you know, she wants to be just like her, and kids that watch porn, they want to be just like them.  But it destroyed our lives, our respect for ourselves and our relationships."  As Jason told us, "I just wanted to do what they did in the porn.  I didn't even care about the relationship anymore.  I just wanted to have sex with as many girls as I could."


This week it is important to remember what we can do to fight pornography's assault against our children and families.  Consider displaying a white ribbon to raise awareness to those around you about this battle; call or write your members of Congress and challenge them and the Department of Justice to ensure that our current obscenity laws are aggressively enforced and our child pornography enforcement efforts are well funded.


In the meantime, parents and educators must shoulder the burden of protecting children from all types of pornography.  We created Internet Safety 101SM® to educate, equip and empower parents, educators and other caring adults to be the first line of defense to protect their kids from online pornography and other Internet dangers. Knowledge is power and prevention is key. We give parents basic Rules 'N Tools®, non-technical and technical safety measures to help parents dialogue with their kids about dangers like pornography and protect innocent eyes by using filtering technology and other parental controls.  Our children's innocence is worth fighting for.




About Enough Is Enough®


Donna Rice Hughes is President of Enough Is Enough®® (EIE), a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, which emerged in 1994 as the national leader on the front lines to make the Internet safer for children and families. Since then, EIE has continued to pioneer efforts including the widely acclaimed Internet Safety 101SM program, which educates, equips and empowers parents, educators and other caring adults with the knowledge and resources needed to effectively protect children from pornography, sexual predators, and cyberbullies as well as how to keep kids safe on social networking sites, gaming and mobile devices.Contact Us for more information.  Media can contact us here.