When you ask most people about their home, you often get answers that describe a place of refuge. The haven where most of the real growth and development happens in a young persons life and the address where family can reside and feel safe. This is the question we present to you today: “Is your home really safe?”
According to recent data, 90% of young men age 18 have been exposed to pornography-much of which is hard-core (meaning it often involves violence and overtly explicit imagery). Of the 90%, the average age these young men were sexualized by pornography was between 8-11 years old. Similarly, 60% of young women by the age of 18 have been exposed to porn as well. Almost 80% of this exposure, which isn’t always voluntary, is happening in the perceived safety of their homes. These alarming statistics don’t deviate between the Christian and non-Christian home.
Most often than not, we encounter parents and caretakers who hear these realities and are shocked. It’s as if the depravity of the world is unknowingly affecting the safety within the hallowed walls of our homes, and most don’t even know it’s entered through the front door. The sobering truth is that for the most part, our children are being exposed to explicit material on devises that are provided to them by their parents-but who often take little time and effort in bringing awareness and safety regarding them. Here’s an interesting correlation, 60% of families who give their children smartphones, do so between the ages of 10 and 11. (20% give their children phones between the ages of 8 and 9.) This is in fact the same age that the average child in our nation is exposed both voluntarily and involuntarily to explicit material.
If you are wondering what potential effects this can have upon a child, buckle your seat belt. Though exposure to pornography affects each individual differently, the overall damage it can cause is sobering to say the least. The truth is that ongoing exposure can lead to sexual addiction, unplanned pregnancies and puts children in a higher risk of being victims of sexual violence. It molds and shapes their values and attitudes towards themselves how they view others around them. This can often lead to a distorted perception of reality, a devaluation towards women and human life in general, as well as trivialize violent behavior. Simply put, it damages a child’s development, and unless it is dealt with properly and with much love and grace, these children will take these destructive patterns, perceptions and behaviors into their future.
What can we do?
It starts with us. The bottom line is that if we want to protect our kids and loved ones, the best place to start is being honest with what we are allowing into our lives as adults on a daily basis. If the statistics are even close to being correct, over half of the families in our nation are being affected by the damaging aftermath of pornography on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. If you think that you may be struggling with this issue, please see our resource page, or contact us directly and we will help point you in the right direction for getting help. (Helpful blogs from our site: Running Scared http://thenovusproject.com/2014/09/15/running-scared/-September 15th 2014, The Silent Epidemic http://thenovusproject.com/2014/09/29/the-silent-epidemic/-Sept. 29th 2014, Deadly Trap of Denial http://thenovusproject.com/2014/10/24/the-deadly-trap-of-denial/-October 24th 2014, Confessions of a Pastor: Angel http://thenovusproject.com/2014/10/31/confessions-of-a-pastor-by-angel-esquivel/-October 31st 2014, Why Are We Talking About This? http://thenovusproject.com/2014/11/14/why-are-we-talking-about-this-by-james-craft/-November 14th 2014).
Get informed and protect your kids. Find out all you can about this issue. (Puredesire.org, xxxchurch.com, Fightthenewdrug.com and endsexualexploitation.org are good places to start.) If you really want to protect your kids, you need to lovingly talk to them regarding the dangers that exist and help them see that they are just one click away from something that could be damaging if they are not careful. There are a number of great filer programs you should consider putting on all your electronic devices. In fact…it’s a must! Another part of this is being mindful not to deflect shame onto your children in the communication process. If there has been exposure in the past or if something happens in the future, you want them to feel comfortable coming to you first so you can help process them through it. Isolation and shame are the factors that keep many children (and adults for that matter,) in this deadly web.
Start a discussion. Please remember that the only way we will ever change the momentum of this damaging movement is if we start a grace filled discussion with others about it. If we can encourage families to do their part in protecting their kids, walk in health themselves, spread the word by helping others and take a stand against those who are making money by exploiting people, we can effectively put a dent in the deadly supply and demand chain that is ushering in such devastation to our society. It is very important to understand that the ripple effect touches countless people! It will take a strong counter movement to see lasting change for the generations to come!
Get involved. We really can make a difference if we work together! We encourage you to get involved where you can. If you would like to hear more about what we are developing through The Novus Project, please click on our “Cause” page. http://thenovusproject.com/the-cause/