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Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Sex(ual Assault)

I beg of you, please read this post all the way through.

Let's talk about sex. It's everywhere. There's no escaping it. It's on TV and in movies, in books and magazines, and on the internet. The days of glossy magazines with graphic centerfolds hidden in shoe boxes under the bed are over. Playboy even quit putting nude photos in their primary magazine publications. They explained that with the widespread availability of internet pornography, there's just no need for magazines anymore. The Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy set international sales records, and the resulting movie set box office records, earning $90.7 million in it's opening weekend alone. 68% of the moviegoers contributing to that jaw-dropping figure were women. It's mind-boggling to me to think that the most sexually explicit and misogynistic "literature" in modern history (that's NOT pornographic) was written by a woman and is beloved by women worldwide. To say that Fifty Shades is a true love story is as absurd as saying Twilight is true love. I'm sorry - a vampire thinks a human smells like a good steak. That's NOT true love. That's something a simple Snickers could fix. Fifty Shades isn't true love, it's sexual abuse at best. And yet the world is obsessed.

It shouldn't surprise anyone that sexual assault is on the rise. Men, women, children, the elderly, all races and creeds - it's truly a crime that effects every single demographic. And yet I'm sure when I mention that April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, I'll lose about 50% of you to eye-rolls, wary groans, and the assumption that I'm about to go on an anti-man rant. I'm not, I promise. You see, the statistics actually support the fact that the overwhelming majority of men are not perpetrators of sexual assault. It is also true, however, that the overwhelming majority of victims are women between the ages of 18-25. If you're like me, your initial reaction is "well yeah, because of college stupidity like frat parties." Sure, that is a common storyline, but it's not the reason that women 18-25 are increasingly at risk for sexual assault. 

Pornography is the reason. The pornography industry is creating sexual predators. It's a fact, as proven by studies such as this one done in Australia. Celebrities such as Terry Crews, Russell Brand, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Hugh Grant, and Rashida Jones have all taken a stand against pornography. They all believe that pornography has a severe impact on relationships and perceptions of human worth. 

It's true that humans must ultimately be held responsible for their own decisions; thus, the fact that some people who view porn choose to act out violently cannot entirely be blamed on the porn industry. However, sex, including viewing pornography, is an addictive behavior. Just as we could expect a drug addict to do whatever they can to get their next fix, we can also expect pornography to lead to increasingly risky behaviors. Although the jury is still out on whether or not we can trust the final words of psychopaths sentenced to death, even Ted Bundy decried pornography and the dangers of addiction. I have spent a decade working with victims of sexual assault, and I can honestly say that in almost every single case, the alleged perpetrator admitted to viewing pornography on a regular basis. Pornography breeds violence.

The mother in me is terrified for the future this presents for my daughter. How can I possibly protect her from an enemy I can't physically fight? How can I possibly make her believe that she is a beloved woman of priceless worth and incredible beauty when the world sends the opposite message? This cause is near and dear to my heart, and even more so now that I have a daughter of my own. I love this message from Fight The New Drug:

It is wrong to leave sexual formation in the hands of the global sex industry. We need to do more to help young people stand up against warped notions of sexuality conveyed in pornography. 
Fight the New Drug is all about pro-love and pro-healthy sexuality. That is why we are anti-porn. Porn is full of ideals and beliefs that are completely opposite of what real relationships, real sex, and real love are like. Healthy relationships are built on equality, honesty, respect, and love. But in porn, it’s the reverse; interactions are based on domination, disrespect, abuse, violence, and detachment. Our generation is the first to deal with the issue of pornography to this intensity and scale. And, as we’ve seen with today’s society,  if we don’t take a stand, the problem is only going to get worse and worse. By being informed and understanding porn’s harmful effects, we can make a much needed change to our perceptions about love, sex, and relationships.
I know that it seems like everything has it's own focus day, week, and/or month. But I am pleading with you - please, please, PLEASE educate yourself on this issue. Do NOT be taken in by cultural myths that say that rapists are only strangers behind bushes, or that most of the cases are based on lies and revenge, or that pornography is just a part of healthy sexual expression. There are so many lies surrounding this issue and I can explain that too:
God created sex to be a beautifully intimate expression of love that ultimately brought about new life. Satan desires to tear down every last beautiful thing, warp it, maim it beyond recognition, and present it as a cheap but believable imitation. 
Pornography is a blatant, hideous, cheap imitation. Pornography degrades humans, drugs viewers, and destroys love. Please hear me: I know, believe me, I KNOW that pornography is NOT THE ONLY CAUSE OF SEXUAL ASSAULT. However, it is on the far right side of the grey area (which incidentally has more than fifty shades) in the middle of the "continuum of harm." Sexual assault does NOT occur in a vacuum wherein someone spontaneously harms someone else. Rather, it starts with each degrading joke that goes unchallenged and every young person whose perception of human worth is defined by the dark corners of seemingly benign websites like Instagram and
We have to alter course here; society as a whole needs to address this. Sexual sin leads to the moral downfall of individual men (and women) and entire civilizations alike. We would be foolish and socially suicidal to ignore this issue.

For more information, please see:
If you, or someone you know, have been a victim of sexual assault, please seek help! Here are some resources:
As always, you can also contact me personally and I will help you as best I can, even if it's only 
to point you in the right direction or provide a compassionate ear.

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