Pornography is harmful and we need a new public health approach to it – as with alcohol and tobacco (UK)

Sophia Worringer, a parliamentary researcher, claims that pornography is harmful and must be treated with a public health approach. She asks the question, if pornography was not harmful as some people claim, why then did the Parish incident (Member of Parliament watching porn) spark such a public outpouring. Many women feel threatened when hearing that pornography has been viewed in their presence because they know the degrading and damaging nature of its essence. It is also difficult to separate the expansion of the multi-billion dollar pornography industry from the trafficking of young women and children around the world. Pornographic online videos open the door for exploitation and abuse. Pornography is not passive. It changes expectations of sex, removes sex from consenting loving relationships, and rewires your brain meaning you are always wanting more.

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New law to fully prosecute child sex offenders (USA)

A new law signed by Governor Brian Kemp will put more measures in place to prosecute child sex offenders to the fullest. This law received support from democrats and republicans. They’re hitting our kids in vulnerable spots, according to Rose Grant-Wiseman, the Executive Director of the Coastal Child Advocacy Centre. The bill treats each act of child molestation as a separate offense and makes each image or video of child pornography a separate offense. For each thing that you have done or committed, that could be five years, that could be ten years, that could be fifteen. It could be a life sentence,” Grant-Wiseman stated. Someone who has thousands of images would have a stronger punishment then someone with a few.

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Portland sees rise in sextortion schemes amongst teens (USA)

As the internet and social media have evolved, so have the dangers that come with it, especially amongst youth. The level of integration of the internet with our society has given rise to cyberbullying, a form of bullying explicitly done online which uses hateful, abusive or threatening messages and media content. With the lack of regulations among tech companies and inadequate tools for parents to protect their children, the internet has also given rise to a much more dangerous threat: sextortion. Sextortion is defined as scamming victims, who are often underage, typically ranging between 14 and 17 years, to send explicit photos and content to predators. Once the scammers have acquired the photos, they typically threaten or blackmail the victim. It’s a dark but sadly real form of abuse that can be more common than people think. 

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Companies to ask for ID before giving access to pornography (USA)

The Louisiana Legislature is trying to protect children from porn and they’re asking for adults to present their ID when trying to access it. Children have much easier access to pornography than they used to have. According to Dr. Gail Dines, an anti-porn advocate, children under the age of 10 now account for 22 percent of underage online porn consumption. While 10-14-year-olds make up 36%. The average age of first exposure to pornography is 11 years old. The Representative pushing the bill, Laurie Schlegel, stated that the bill would make it so that the verification would only reveal if the user is over 18. Unlimited access to pornography on the internet is causing a public health crisis for our children, Schlegel affirmed. The law passed out of the committee without any opposition.

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Commission proposes tightening laws to protect child pornography victims (South Africa)

Jody Kollapen South African Law Reform Commission (SALRC) chairperson proposed new laws on child pornography that will expand definitions of the crime and tighten existing regulations to protect child victims.

Kollapen’s report deals with the production of pornographic material involving children and the dissemination of that material. In a growing age of the ease of technology, one sees the impact that this could have on broader society but also on the interests and rights of children, Kollapen stated. Our Constitution carries within it the paramount principle that the best interests of the child matter — and matter significantly. It’s an important area for us to consider in the context of our society.  The SALRC also proposed that the database be linked to Interpol’s international child sexual exploitation image database.

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Child safety groups call on porn sites to voluntarily introduce age verification (Scotland)

Child safety groups urged pornography websites to introduce age verification tools as quickly as possible to better protect children from harmful content and to bring them in line with the British Board of Film Classification ratings. Video works that are given ratings of between 12, 15, 18, or R18 certificates are legally restricted, and it is against the law for anybody underage to obtain such material. They argue that many porn sites feature depictions of practices that meet the definition of criminal standards for sexual violence.

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Singer cum politician overcome pornography (Nigeria)

Nigerian singer cum politician, Bankole Wellington, popularly known as Banky W, has opened up on his spiritual life and how he overcame porn addiction and promiscuity by filling a “God void” he long had. Banky W revealed that he struggled with promiscuity and pornography and he felt he was on bondage and needed cleansing. Without filling that void there is an emptiness and you feel disconnected from that source. That’s why you see some of these billionaires commit suicide”.

In the eyes of the world I was a successful artist, but I still felt empty and wretched. There were things I was struggling with on a personal basis. Everything from promiscuity to pornography just, real things that people struggled with on a personal basis.

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Government to step up efforts to prevent child sexual abuse (Philippines)

In commemoration of this year’s Child Sexual Abuse Awareness Week, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on Monday prodded the government to increase efforts in supporting victims and preventing more cases of child sexual abuse.

The agency said in a statement that child exploitation reflects a failure to protect the most vulnerable. The marginalised sector, now more than ever, needs the government’s utmost protection in unprecedented times like this. This warning comes at the wake of a pandemic that has led to worsening socio-economic factors, which according to the CHR, also led to an increase of child abuse and sexual exploitation. This statement is reinforced by the findings of the Department of Justice which has noted a 264% increase of online sexual exploitation of children amid the pandemic.

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Parents must protect and prepare children against online pornography (Singapore)

While parents should protect their children against online risks such as online grooming, sexting and pornography, they should also prepare the youngsters for encounters with such issues, according to Associate Professor Daniel Fung, chief executive of the Institute of Mental Health.

This comes amid a surge in the number of children exposed to inappropriate sexual content with the prevalence of digital devices to view such material.

Noting that it is almost impossible to regulate pornography on the Internet, Prof Fung said parents should help children understand that such content exists and why it is not good to watch it. Instead of treating it as a taboo topic, parents can take the opportunity to discuss with them, explain what pornography is and why it is harmful, he added.

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Bill would prohibit ‘obscene’ books from school libraries (USA)

A bill to prohibit books deemed “obscene” from Tennessee school libraries advanced through the Criminal Justice Subcommittee after hours-long discussion with celebrities, parents and education professionals alike. Former SNL member, Victoria Jackson, stated that people are stealing the innocence of children through obsene books. Supporters of the bill said some books have descriptions of excessive violence or even pornography. The bill passed with a vote of 7-3.

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