Porn Is The New Sex Trade | CONCERNED WOMEN FOR AMERICA"/> Porn Is The New Sex Trade | CONCERNED WOMEN FOR AMERICA"/>
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Sexual Exploitation

Concerned Women Praise GOP Platform’s Serious Treatment of Children’s Safety

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Washington, D.C. – The Republican Party’s Platform Committee is considering language that recognizes pornography as a “public health crisis.”  Concerned Women for America (CWA) President and CEO Penny Nance had this to say:

On behalf of the half-a-million members of CWA, we want to applaud the Republican National Committee delegates’ serious consideration of what has become an enormous problem for our society.  Many of the thousands of mom’s I represent bear the scars of seeing their children struggle with significant physical and psychological problems of an addiction to porn that started even before they were able to recognize or fully understand the consequences of the material they were accessing on the Internet. (The Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire says that 42 percent of online users ages 10 to 17 have seen pornography, and that 66 percent of those saw it unwittingly.)

We also stand with women who have been the victims of this predatory industry that objectifies and demeans women by treating them as commodities.

The research showing that pornography is significantly linked to increases in sexual violence and aggression continues to grow. One study reported that 88% of the top-watched porn films contain aggressive acts, while another study shows a disturbingly noticeable uptick in male aggression towards women after watching a 10-minute clip from such a film. As the nation’s largest public policy organization for women, we must face the facts we are being presented and deal with the situation with utmost urgency.

Studies now suggest the horrible depictions of rape and violence depicted on these types of material (which is not very difficult for children to access online) have a significant effect on a person’s brain matter and that it may be addictive. That means that with continued use, more impactful material would be needed to achieve the same level of satisfaction.

We commend the Republican Platform committee, even as we must make clear that this is not a partisan issue in any way, shape, or form.  We have and will continue to work with Democrats who recognize the warning signs we are seeing, and we hope the same serious treatment of this issue is adopted in the Democratic Platform.

This is a family issue, it is a children’s safety issue, and it is a women’s issue.  CWA is committed to fight against sexual exploitation in any form.

 

Dethrone Game of Thrones from Your Life

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Viewership for one episode of HBO’s grotesque fantasy television series Game of Thrones has surpassed 23 million for one episode. The series is based on George R.R. Martin’s book series A Song of Ice and Fire, which HBO has purchased to produce, showing much pride because of its gratuitous nudity and sexual violence.

One does not even need to go to Christian articles and reviews to show how horrifying and sick this show and its video game are.  Even non-Christians and secular media outlets have noticed the depravity of this show, especially in its treatment of women. When that happens, you know something is desperately wrong.

A Wall Street Journal article reports:

In previous seasons, a queen was frogmarched naked in public to cries of “Shame!” A young princess was burned at the stake. Women have been sexually exploited in brothels and royal bedrooms alike, building the show’s reputation for gratuitous female nudity. Outrage erupted last year after a scene depicting a wedding-night rape.”

Critics and even cast members are fully aware of the show’s filth:

In earlier seasons of Game of Thrones, critic Myles McNutt used the term “sexposition” to describe the nudity and sex in some scenes that set up complex plot lines. Ian McShane, who appeared on Game of Thrones this season, dismissed the series as “tits and dragons.” Writing in the Atlantic last year, Christopher Orr said the show’s pattern of treating female characters poorly was too ingrained to change.

One viewer records her reasoning to stop watching the show:

The highly controversial scene that ultimately caused me to step away from the series featured Jaime Lannister sexually assaulting his sister, Cersei — a scene that George R. R. Martin had intended as consensual in the books. When viewers questioned the decision to change the scene from reciprocal to nonconsensual, director Alex Graves and showrunner David Benioff refuted the idea that the scene in question was, in fact, sexual abuse. Despite that at one point in an interview, Graves referred to the act in question as “forced sex.” Despite that Benioff, in the video diary of the episode, said, “It becomes a really kind of horrifying scene … and you see that Cersei is resisting this. She’s saying no, and he’s forcing himself on her.”

One article from The Federalist says Game of Thrones is torture porn dressed up as pseudo-historical drama.

Even policy makers have taken notice.  After an explicit rape scene episode, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri) tweeted, “Ok, I’m done Game of Thrones. Water Garden, stupid. Gratuitous rape scene disgusting and unacceptable. It was a rocky ride that just ended.”

 

 

The past six series, and the probable one or two more, contain an astonishing amount of vulgarity and nudity, explicit sexual intercourse and forced sexual violence where the woman’s deafening screams of “No” should make one regret ever voluntarily watching one of these eight million dollar episodes.

The sickeningly high ratings are extremely saddening, especially when one reflects on the number of Christians consuming this sort of content on a regular basis.  The show’s popularity reflects the God-less, disrespectful, individualistic, “truth-and-morality-are-relative” society we live in today. Sadly, millions of these viewers, both men and women, enjoy this type of fantasy; they are stimulated by horrifying scenes that should repulse them, without realizing that these scenes will inevitably affect their view of humanity. Whether the sex scenes are passionate, or the plot encourages rape and incest, this type of content affects the viewers’ implicit desires, standards and reality.

Game of Thrones uses sexual violence, rape and incest — all presented in an incredibly graphic and uncensored way for shock value and higher ratings. This passes for “entertainment” in today’s day and age.

But, when one reflects on the millions of women who have suffered from the physical and emotional trauma of a sexual assault, we should weep for our culture and the Church.

As followers of Jesus Christ, we should reject this type of demeaning content.  We are called to be holy; to live in this world, but not of it; to live righteous lives. “Just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do” (1 Peter 1:15).

Watching this show, adding to the number of viewers, giving this blatantly dishonoring, sin-glorifying show the time-of-day is not only wrong, but unnecessary. The beauty and wonder of God’s creation has so much more to offer us.   As Paul reminded us, “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (Philippians 4:8).

Church, it is time to step up and speak out.  Let us dethrone Game of Thrones from our lives.

Kelsey Gold is part of CWA’s 2016 Ronald Reagan Memorial Internship class where she serves for the Legislative Department.

Sex-Trafficking Basics – Harsh Reality and Hopeful Rescues

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“It’s the oldest profession,” a sportsman said in a video we watched at a recent training sponsored by the National Center for Sexual Exploitation.  He was referring, of course, to prostitution, defending himself for having been recently caught buying sex.  No, our trainers told us, “It’s the world’s oldest abuse story.”NCSELOGO

How true.  I sat there thinking about women in the Bible – even Sarah being given over by her own husband Abraham to be Pharaoh’s concubine, Rahab the prostitute, Tamar, the woman at the well – the sad stories of sexual brokenness even in Scripture.

This ancient abuse is fresh again today – always there – and closer than you think.

It’s important to remember these important points when striving to understand sex-trafficking:

  1. LOCAL: This problem is not just something that takes place far away in Europe and Asia; it is a local problem.  The United States is a serious offender, and it’s a huge money-making industry. Some mistakenly believe that to qualify as “trafficking” there has to be transportation across state lines, but this isn’t true. Legally, any act of recruitment, harboring, transportation, provisioning, obtaining, patronizing, or soliciting; by the means of force, fraud, or coercion; that results in serious harm for the purpose of exploitation, can qualify as sex-trafficking.
  2. NOT CONSENSUAL: Some defend prostitution, saying that it is a matter of consent – that these women are offering it and totally fine with it. In reality, most of these women don’t know if they have other options, are often facing serious physical, emotional, and mental trauma, and are being pimped out – these pimps being the real financial benefiters in the industry who draw women in with serious manipulation.  Sometimes women can be beaten for not bringing in enough, or branded with their pimp’s name.  Despite these horrors, they are rarely literally chained to the bed.  Instead, the coercive methods of desperation for basic food, shelter, and money, combined with a twisted view of love compounded by childhood abuse and trauma bonding, keeps them in “the life.”  They are often blinded to this, however, and it can take a while before they recognize themselves as victims of abuse.
  3. THESE ARE CHILDREN: I was shocked to learn that there are so many prostitutes who are not adults at all.  Seventy to ninety percent of adult victims started as children!  The average age to begin in the sex trafficking industry is about 13.  Girls are often abused long before that – by uncles or stepfathers for example.  The good news is that the law was very recently changed to proclaim that buying a prostitute who is a minor is automatically illegal because she is below the age of consent.  This helps protect minor girls, who can be taken to a department of children and family services and not be arrested.
  4.  THE PORNOGRAPHY LINK: Let’s call it like it is.  Porn is evil and at the root of sex-trafficking.  In our technological age, children are being exposed to porn at age five, and have moved on to harder and more violent porn by age eight – meaning that props and weapons and violent acts are becoming commonplace in order to achieve arousal. After a while, they want to act out what they see – so they find a prostitute on backpage.com, for example, which is sometimes filmed to make more porn.  One particularly poignant line from the training was: “Porn is … prostitution as long as someone gets to take the pictures,” and “Porn – prostitution for mass consumption.”

Once we grasp the problem a bit more, we can take hope that there is a way forward towards reducing this exploitation:

  1. BETTER POLICY AND LAW ENFORCEMENT NEEDED: I was shocked to learn that sometimes cops promise not to arrest the girls in exchange for sex themselves.  There is a better way.  We were introduced to a Florida police force that advocates for better cop training to avoid corruption and ensure effective rehabilitation.  Cops, for instance, often have to learn to patiently give women multiple chances to join a “Turn Your Life Around” (TYLA) program, be accompanied by trained civilian counselors, and stop using an accusatory aura.  The program in Florida has begun a four-pronged approach, away from only the single-pronged, harsh stigmatization and criminalization of the girls themselves that occurred in days past.  Now the four prongs include: the girls – but using less punitive efforts, the “Johns” or buyers – including sending letters home  and confiscating vehicles used to sex-traffic, the businesses – including keeping an eye on hotels and whether they abate or aid in trafficking, and finally the pimps – trying to get at the men behind the scenes.
  2. COLLABORATIVE SOLUTIONS WORK: The training highlighted that TYLA is a new and successful partnership between the Sarasota police department and Selah Freedom, a NGO.  The two joined forces to find common ground and work against sex-trafficking together.  TYLA has brought many women out of the trade, and now they have succeeded in getting the courts on board with a specialized court room, so that these women are given special treatment oriented towards rehabilitation.
  3. SAFE HOUSES AND REHABILITATION EFFORTS: We learned that the girls need somewhere to go in order to get out.  In the TYLA program, there are several houses where the women live as the readjust to real life.  Without being safely housed in single-gender, supervised housing, the women won’t leave their traffickers – for fear of being punished and on the street.  Even some “shelters” end up being recruiting grounds if not really a permanent home. One of the women training us – a survivor herself – even recounted that she keeps girls in her own home at times.
  4. FAMILY MATTERS:  When you look closely at this issue, broken families are at the heart of it.  The women often started into the sex industry after being abused by family members.  Can you imagine your own family member selling you for sex?  Fatherlessness is at the root of so much of this.  Then there is the issue of the buyers – themselves often from fatherless or broken families, sometimes cheating on their wives, lonely and depressed and then addicted to pornography, becoming a player in more and more of the same vicious cycles.  Fighting this at the root means valuing and supporting positive family life.
  5. PRAY A LOT: There are so many factors in the effort against sex trafficking outside our control.  Will the woman be in the right position to leave?  Will she be safe?  Will she succeed at the detox center and safe house?  Will the cops be able to crack down on that massage parlor?  Will the court be merciful?  Will a good law pass?  There are things we can do – and then there are times when all we can do is pray and pray more.

It is hard not to simply weep.  It’s easy to get overwhelmed or depressed learning the full extent of the brokenness of the world.  There is deep pain, but there is also deep joy.  To be healed – in that is joy that abounds even more than having never been in need of it.

And the women can heal.  I fear we will never end poverty, prostitution, and pornography this side of heaven.  But we can try; we can reduce it – and give people a way out of it.  And that is a worthy cause.  As Christian women, we celebrate that God is the great deliverer. Amen, Come Lord Jesus.

Chaney Mullins serves as Concerned Women for America’s Special Projects Writer.

We Asked. You Acted.

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The staff at Concerned Women for America (CWA) is extremely grateful that our members are not simply supporters in name but in deed. Our mailboxes were flooded with stacks of petitions expressing our members’ support for the defense of marriage and the family. Each signature represented a member who was stating that he or she still acknowledges that marriage is God-created, that it is the cornerstone of a healthy family and a strong society, and that we can protect marriage, our culture, and our families from the destructive forces of pornography and adultery.WeAsked

The picture to the left is just one of many stacks of petitions and a visible declaration that our members still believe in protecting marriage the way God defines it — no matter what today’s culture is trying to push on them. As you fight for Biblical principles in your state, let this image serve as a reminder that you are standing with half a million others who are passionate about honoring our God and working hard to protect His truth in America.

Forced Marriages: A Case of ‘Happily Never After’

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penny smTwenty: the number of minutes that Esther had to meet her husband before she was engaged and married off by her parents. Seventeen: the age that Esther was when she was married. Ten: the number of years that Esther was abused by her “husband.” During that span of time, not only did he rape her, but he allowed other men to rape her as well.

As a mother, my heart breaks for young women like Esther. My daughter is 17, and her current worries are over things like graduation and prepping for her first year of college. A forced, abusive relationship is the furthest concern from my daughter’s mind. Yet, at her age (and even younger), some girls are literally fearing for their lives. The sickest part about Esther’s story is that it was perpetrated by the people that a young girl should be able to trust: her family.

Read the rest at The Christian Post.