A UNIQUE campaign to make Toowoomba a porn-free city is spreading across the country and has sparked international interest.
Toowoomba is preparing for its third annual public rally next month during which the city’s mayor stands shoulder-to-shoulder with men from all walks of life and together they pledge not to watch pornography.
“There is overwhelming research out now that reveals the damage that porn does to an individual, to relationships, families and society,” Toowoomba resident Letitia Shelton, the chief executive officer of local organising group City Women, said.
City Women’s porn-free campaign, working with the local council and with churches, has spawned similar events on the Gold Coast, Kingaroy and the Illawarra region in New South Wales while Frankston in Melbourne has also expressed an interest.
The office of the French president has even emailed to find out more about the campaign.
“A lady from Paris was emailing me, desperately wanting to talk to me. They had seen our website, what we were doing, and were really keen to talk more,” Ms Shelton said.
The French connection was made early last year, just prior to a general election.
Emmanuel Macron succeeded then-president Francois Hollande and there has been no follow-up since.
However that hasn’t deterred Ms Shelton who said the French were impressed that Toowoomba was tackling porn at a local level.
“There are plenty of organisations out there on this topic, but I think the president was just fed up with the destruction that porn is doing, and saw there was a mayor in another city doing something,” she said.
Next month’s public rally in Toowoomba on October 16 will be attended by Bravehearts founder Hetty Johnston who will speak about the link between pornography and child abuse.
“What we are seeing is a huge rise in ‘child on child’ sexual abuse because children are seeing porn at such an early age and then act out what they see. It’s become a big problem,” Ms Shelton said.
She also identified “sexting” as a major issue of concern.
“There are studies that show the link between porn and sexting. Because it’s so normalised people who watch porn are more likely to ‘sext’, or ask for pictures,” Ms Shelton said.
“Porn seems to fuel sex trafficking, violence against women, rape, sexting, child abuse. It is a $97 billion industry.”
Ms Shelton said the epicentre of a booming porn industry was a website called Pornhub which last year had 28.5 billion visitors – 81 million per day.
“The young people I speak to in Toowoomba all know about Pornhub,” she said, adding that part of her porn-free agenda involved educating senior school groups.
“By the end of the sessions you realise this is probably the first generation of teenagers that actually have to talk with their boyfriend or girlfriend and ask ‘do you watch porn?’, and to determine whether that is a deal-breaker or not.”
- 88 per cent of pornography scenes are considered violent and 66 per cent of performers have herpes
- 88 per cent of performers binge on ecstasy, cocaine, alcohol
- 55 per cent of married men watch porn and men are 543 per cent more likely to watch porn
- Prolonged exposure to pornography leads to an exaggerated perception of sexual activity in society; diminished trust between intimate couples; the abandonment of the hope of sexual monogamy
- Pornhub, the world’s biggest porn website, reports that in 2017, there were: 28.5 billion annual visits to the website;
81 million daily average visits; 50,000 searches per minute with 4,052,542 videos uploaded at 3732 pentabytes of information transferred ñ enough to fill the memory of every iPhone on Earth.
Source: Covenant Eyes